Emmons at the 2004 Olympics
April 5, 1981 |
Mount Holly Township, New Jersey, U.S.
|Height||175 cm (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||82 kg (181 lb)|
|Club||Alaska Nanooks, Fairbanks|
Emmons started out as a successful junior and has been a holder of the junior world record in 50 metre rifle three positions. He won both the 2002 ISSF World Cup Final and the 2004 ISSF World Cup Final in this event.
He was also successful in the 50 metre rifle prone, winning both the 2002 ISSF World Shooting Championships and the 2004 Summer Olympics in this event. In Athens, he was very close to winning a historic double, but in the three positions competition, he accidentally cross-fired his last shot and finished eighth.
Emmons's gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the prone position came while using a borrowed rifle. In April 2004, just prior to the Olympic Team Trials, Emmons discovered his rifle had been severely sabotaged in the supposedly secure locker room at the United States Olympic Training Center. The precisely tuned barrel and action were heavily damaged by what appeared to be a screwdriver. "I unpacked my gun and I noticed that something wasn't right," Emmons said. "Sure enough, somebody had done something to it. I shot it and I couldn't get the shell out. I said, 'Something's wrong here'." Emmons said it could not have been an accident: "Oh no, no," Emmons said. "Somebody took a screwdriver and went in."  Emmons went on to the 2004 Summer Olympics, and his gold medal in the prone position event, using his former University of Alaska Fairbanks teammate, Amber Darland's .22 rifle. He never found out who the saboteur was, but said "I'd like to know so I could shake their hand and say thanks."
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Emmons won the silver medal in the prone competition. In his second event, 50 metre rifle three positions, Emmons finished the qualification round in second place, 1 point behind the leader. In the ten-shot final, Emmons overtook the leader after just the first shot. Over the next eight shots, Emmons extended his lead to 3.3 points. Then his 3.3 point lead vanished when he posted a 4.4 on his final shot. He finished off the podium in 4th place. Emmons called the last shot a "freak of nature". "The way I come into a target is I start above the target and come down from 12 o'clock and get into the bullseye", he told reporters. "And as I get down into the bullseye is when I start to get on the trigger (with my finger) and as I was starting to get on the trigger, the gun just went off. I guess I just set it off. I got on the trigger a little too hard. I didn't feel my trigger finger shaking but I guess it was. It just hit the trigger, the gun went off and I was like 'uh, that's not going to be good – I hope it hit the black'. It hit the black, but a little high".
Emmons has been a resident of Mount Holly Township, New Jersey. He holds a degree in management and finance from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is a graduate at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs.
Emmons married Czech sport shooter and Olympic champion Kateřina Kůrková in Plzen, Czech Republic on June 30, 2007. They met at the 2004 Olympics in Athens when Kateřina came to console Matt after his gold medal blunder. They both live and train at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. They have two daughters, Julia (born 2009) and Emma (born 2015). Emmons was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2010.
- Matt Emmons. sports-reference.com
- Matt Emmons. USA Shooting
- Shooting at the 2004 Athina Summer Games: Men's Small-Bore Rifle, Three Positions, 50 metres. sports-reference.com
- Emmons on target for gold | Juneau Empire – Alaska's Capital City Online Newspaper. Juneau Empire (August 22, 2004). Retrieved on 2017-04-10.
- Matt Emmons Places Fourth in Men's 3 Position Rifle. USA Shooting (August 17, 2008). Retrieved on April 10, 2017.
- "shot lapse costs Emmons gold". Reuters via The Guardian. London. August 17, 2008. Archived from the original on August 22, 2008.
- "After another near-disaster, USA's Matt Emmons wins bronze". USA Today. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Olympics shooting: Matt Emmons wins three-position rifle bronze". BBC. August 6, 2012.
- "Oh, shoot, it happens again!", Philadelphia Daily News, August 18, 2003. Accessed March 1, 2011. "Matthew Emmons, a 27-year-old native of Mount Holly, N.J., yesterday relived his Athens nightmare. With a 3.4 point lead on the final shot of the final round of the 50-meter rifle/three positions, as he lowered his rifle into shooting position he shot too early and managed only a 4.4."
- European Shooting Page. Esc-shooting.org. Retrieved on April 10, 2017.
- USA shooter Matt Emmons deals with misses. Usatoday.com (July 25, 2012). Retrieved on 2017-04-10.
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