WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 11, 2011) -- Sgt. 1st Class Eric Uptagrafft a 1996 Olympian, qualified for nomination to the 2012 team pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

Uptagrafft, a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, will compete in the Men’s 50-meter Rifle Prone, his specialty event, upon approval by the committee.

This will be the second Olympic Games for the Soldier stationed in Fort Benning, Ga. Uptagrafft has been a dominating force in Men's 50-meter Rifle Prone for some time.

“It is the realization of a dream to compete in the Olympics again,” Uptagrafft said. “I'd like to thank the U.S. Army, the United States Army Marksmanship Unit, and USA Shooting for helping me reach my intermediate goal of making the team and for helping me prepare for next summer.”

At the second leg of the International Shooting Sport Federation, or ISSF World Cup competition in Beijing, he earned a bronze medal. He solidified his top-three world ranking with a silver medal at his home range during the ISSF World Cup USA. His shooting at the 2011 ISSF World Cup in Sydney, Australia, earned him a silver medal and an Olympic participation quota for Team USA in London 2012.

Following the 2008 Olympic Games, USA Shooting adopted a point selection procedure for athletes to gain an Olympic nomination. Points are awarded based on competition performance at ISSF World Cups and World Championships.

"Eric is one of our most experienced international athletes. This benefited him in his pursuit of the point system slot for the U.S. Olympic Team,” said his National Rifle Coach, Maj. Dave Johnson. “He’s had an outstanding year and has earned the slot and respect of his competitors worldwide. I expect to see him on the podium in London.”