Lones Wigger, 80, Gold Medal Shooter

(ATR) Lones Wigger competed in four Olympics, winning gold, inspiring generations of sport shooters.

(ATR) Lones Wigger competed in four Olympics, winning gold, inspiring generations of sport shooters.

He died at his home in Colorado Springs Dec. 14 from pancreatic cancer.

Wigger competed for the U.S. in sport shooting for 25 years, winning 111 medals. His Olympic gold medals were won in Tokyo and Munich. Wigger is considered the most decorated athlete in sport shooting.

"The first Olympics, I just wandered around with that deer-in-the-headlights look," Wigger said 10 years ago, remembering the 1964 Games in Tokyo.

"I was probably too dumb to get nervous, but it worked out fine."

"The second (gold) was the most pleasing medal I won. For Munich, I planned to make the team and to win (the gold). I definitely knew what it was all about," said Wigger.

After his competition career ended, Wigger was active in developing new generations of athletes in the sport. His daughter competed at the 1988 Olympics and one of his sons led the marksmanship school at West Point.

For his 80th birthday earlier this year, Wigger was honored by USA Shooting with the unveiling of its headquarters and upper range in Colorado Springs as the Lones Wigger Legacy Hall and Range.

USA Shooting has more on Wigger’s career, along with photos and his 30-minute speech from the August dedication.

In 2008 he was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

"We will never forget our good friend Lones W. Wigger," said a statement from the International Sport Shooting Federation expressing its condolences to the family and friends of the shooter.

Frank Litsky of the New York Times wrote about Wigger in an obituary this week.

Reported by Ed Hula.