TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – When he was a young boy, Will Brown learned how to handle a gun. He grew up in a family of hunters and recreational shooters. Now he’s going to represent his family, his community, and his country in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Brown, who will be competing in the 10-meter air pistol and 50-meter free pistol competitions, starts his journey to Rio on Thursday and won’t return until mid-August.

Competing on the world stage isn’t new to him – he’s competed in the World Cup and has consistently ranked in the top 10 in international competitions. He says the Olympics, however, will be a bit different for him.

“I’m proud to do it and I’m excited,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to represent your country in the Olympics.”

Brown, now 24, started shooting professionally in 2006, but has been handling guns all his life. Growing up in Idaho, he found himself going on hunting trips with his dad; other times the family would pack their guns and head for an adventure in target shooting.

Susan Brown says her son is very focused on his craft, a trait that is necessary in the sport. It is not about speed, but accuracy. The 10-meter pistol shot, for instance, is done with one hand that is unsupported.

“It’s not a fast sport,” she said. “It’s all about precision and trigger-control.”

To qualify for the Olympics, Brown participated in training camps overseas. When home he practices shooting his air pistol in space set up in his parents’ basement, and his .22 at area gun ranges.

While he loves to compete in shooting matches, Susan says her son doesn’t like a lot of attention.

On Tuesday evening, the family invited close friends over to the house for a celebratory barbecue for him. She says they likely will host another party when he returns.

“He’s talented, he’s going to do very well, he’s just a model young man,” Susan said. “He works hard and hard work pays off.”

Will Brown takes aim during a pistol shoot, the sport in which he's trained for many years. (Photo courtesy of Susan Brown)
Will Brown takes aim during a pistol shoot, the sport in which he's trained for many years. (Photo courtesy of Susan Brown)

For a list of Brown’s accomplishments, check out this page from the USA Shooting Team.

Brown knows he’ll be up against top shooters from many countries, but win or lose he is excited to represent the United States in the world games. He is the first person from Twin Falls to qualify for the shooting events.

And while he’s been honored at other events, he knows he’ll experience something different if he wins a medal in Rio.

The games begin Aug. 5.

“I can guarantee if I’m on the stage when the National Anthem plays,” he said, “it’s definitely going to be pretty emotional for me.”

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