Jason Parker marched confidently into China with his rifle in hand. Under normal circumstances, that might be an ominous occurrence considering the 1996 graduate is a sergeant in the U.S. Army’s Marksmanship Unit. But in this case, Parker’s presence in China was more athletic than militaristic. Parker was—for the third time—a member of the United States Olympic shooting team and was in Beijing to represent the U.S. in two events.
Unfortunately, the results weren’t as good as hoped. He finished 22nd in the 3-position rifle event and 23rd in the 10-meter air rifle event. Still, he says, it was a great experience. “One of the best things about the Olympics—and sports in general—is friendships are everywhere. Two shooters received medals. One was from Russia and the other from Georgia. The two gave each other a hug and told the press they will always be good friends.”
Parker also participated in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, where he finished fifth, and the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, finishing eighth.