FORT BENNING, Ga. (May 9, 2012) -- Staff Sgt. Josh Richmond, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, added another milestone to an already stellar 2012, winning a gold medal in Men's Double Trap at the Lonato (Italy) World Cup, May 5.
This title, his second medal-winning performance in as many World Cup competitions this year, comes just two weeks after the birth of his and wife Scharri's second son, Beaux. With two World Cup medals and a new baby boy, it is safe to say 2012 can be classified as a great year.
"I really didn't train at all for this match," Richmond said. "With my son being born 10-12 days before the match, my focus and attention was on him, my wife and our oldest son. I have to admit it has been a bit overwhelming. It's already been a way above-average year. I usually hope to medal in at least one World Cup and contend in the rest, so to medal twice already is a lot of fun."
The year stands to get even better. In late July, the eight-year Army combat veteran will put away the duty uniform he wears every day representing his country in exchange for the Red, White and Blue uniform he will wear in London as a member of the U.S. Olympic team.
"I am really focused on my mental game right now," Richmond said. "During this match I really gained a lot of confidence as the match went on and was feeling great. I am slowing down the repetitions on the range and really concentrating on the mental aspect of shooting."
It has been non-stop for Richmond since September, when he deployed to Afghanistan with members of the USAMU. He was part of a cross-functional team of Soldiers who provide marksmanship training to Afghan and Coalition Soldiers. Richmond volunteered for the overseas assignment as part of a rigorous and well-planned pre-Olympic training regimen.
"We wear this uniform every day and we are obligated to do our part while we are at war," Richmond said. "I also wanted to be out of my comfort zone. I had never been deployed to combat just like I have never been to the Olympics. I needed to gain that confidence as well as become a better instructor and trainer for the Army."
Lonato is Richmond's home away from home. Richmond won a Junior Men's World Championship in 2005 and his first-ever gold medal in World Cup competition in northern Italy in 2007. Because of the birth of his son Richmond missed the recent London World Cup, which was an Olympic test event held on the same ranges that will host Olympic shooting. The top shooters in the world competed in London yet Richmond said he doesn't feel he missed anything at all and things are working out perfectly.
"Yeah, (the other competitors) took notice that I wasn't in London," Richmond said. "But I love Italy. It's a well-designed, older range and all of the gun and ammunition manufacturers are right there. It is the Mecca of shotgun shooting.
"I feel comfortable there. The weather was terrible in London so I think I made the right decision for sure. The field wasn't too happy with the results and definitely realized that I am not going anywhere. I am determined to make a great year even greater."