Eric Hollen says he’s been involved in shooting his whole life: “Pretty much anything that went bang, I shot it.”
He served in the U.S. Army for 9 years, first with the 2/75 Rangers and then in the 10th Special Forces Group. Injured in a farm accident after his years of service, in 2001, he returned to school at East Tennessee State University and then the University of Southern California. He also began competing in Paralympic shooting, winning USA Shooting’s Paralympic Athlete of the Year honor in 2010.
According to Hollen, “focus is the biggest part of this sport, and the hardest one to master.” Long hours of target practice, along with more hours of strength training paid off at the 2011 International Paralympic World Cup event in Sydney, Australia. Hollen won medals in both the Men’s 10m Air Pistol and Mixed 50m Free Pistol, which qualified him for the 2012 London Games.
Eric’s 13-year-old daughter Payton also trains in Colorado, as an aspiring Olympic ski racer.
Eric is blogging for MEDAL QUEST in February and March 2012.