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Matt Emmons is competing in shooting at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

Matt Emmons knows too well what it is like to let a gold medal slip out of his hands. In Athens, he was in position to claim the 50m rifle three position gold medal with a massive lead over his competition. But when he fired his last shot, everything went wrong. Emmons accidentally shot at the wrong target and registered a score of zero. Emmons finished eighth. "All I had to do, for me anyway, was just hit the target — hit the target — and you win," he said. Then in 2008, he pulled the trigger too early in the same event, the rifle three prone event, registering an unimaginably low score of 4.4 and dropping from first to fourth.

One would think a man who has watched two Olympic gold medals slip from his hands would be a little bitter. Most probably would. But not Emmons.

"Mistakes that I made in Athens, mistakes that I made in Beijing, those things are very visible," he said. "I've been asked a ton of times about those situations; had it brought back up. And it hurt a lot at the time. Something you work so hard for, and then it doesn't pan out. And then people are asking me, 'Well, why didn't it work out?' Well, it's kind of a tough thing.

"But also, I look at those things as learning opportunities. You know, life is long. My shooting career is long. Because I failed in one competition doesn't mean that I'm a failure as an athlete. So I want to keep going. I want to learn, I want to get better, and so I just use those as building blocks."

Emmons may have had some well-documented troubles in the three prone, but he still earned a silver medal in Beijing in the 50m rifle prone. Even in Athens, when he shot at the wrong target in the three position, Emmons earned a gold medal in the 50m rifle prone that should not be forgotten.

After shooting the wrong target in three prone in Athens, Emmons went to a beer garden near the range. Before he knew it, he had a visitor in Katerina Kurkova, a shooter for the Czech Republic. The two chatted, hit it off and then didn't see each other for a while. But they stayed in touch and eventually they were married in the summer of 2007. Katerina now uses Emmons' last name and still shoots for the Czech Republic. She won bronze in the 10m air rifle in Athens, gold in the same event in Beijing and silver in the 50m rifle three position in Beijing.

Emmons is an avid golfer and played baseball in high school. He even pitched a perfect game in baseball when he was in high school in New Jersey. However, he gave up baseball later in high school to focus on shooting. He still golfs about one time per week, when he can.

Emmons plays the guitar and enjoys playing songs by Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and the Beatles. He started out on the instrument by purchasing an old electric guitar off of a friend and eventually switched to acoustic.

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