Former Olympic silver medalist Tom Garrigus is one of four people being inducted into the Trapshooting Hall of Fame. Garrigus is being inducted posthumously.

Jackie Garrigus said it will be an emotional moment when her late husband, Thomas Garrigus, is inducted into the Amateur Trapshooting Association’s Hall of Fame.

Garrigus, silver medalist in Men’s Trap at the 1968 Olympics, passed away in 2006. He is being inducted Aug. 7 in ceremonies at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex’s Events Center along with Fred Nagel, Gary Sherrod and Pat Stacey.

“Oh gosh, he loved everything about trapshooting,” Jackie Garrigus said. “I didn’t know him when he was in his heyday. We probably met in the late 80s. He just loved trapshooting and the camaraderie.

“He loved to help people tweak their game a little bit. He really enjoyed helping the kids that were beginning to shoot. He would have just felt that this would be a pat on the back for all the effort he put into trapshooting.”

The two met through trapshooting. In fact, Jackie Garrigus will be competing in this year’s Grand American as well as attending the hall of fame banquet.

“I’ll be shooting,” she said. “I think I’m currently sitting in about sixth place in the old lady category.”

Garrigus was raised with the sport, reportedly beginning shooting at age three. By the age of 21 he was a member of U.S Air Force Shooting Team and the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic shooting team.

Garrigus finished the event in a three-way tie for second place with Kurt Czekalla of East Germany and Pavel Senichev of the Soviet Union. They had all shot 196 during the regular competition. John Brathwaite of the United Kingdom took first place with 198.

In the first shoot-off, Garrigus and Czekalla broke all 25 targets. Senichev was eliminated with a score of 22. Garrigus remained perfect in the second shoot-off while Czekalla broke just 23. The silver medal marked the best finish by an American shooter since Mark Arie won the 1920 gold medal.

“He didn’t talk a lot about it,” Garrigus said. “That was when George Foreman was there. They went early to do high altitude training. He got to meet George Foreman.”

Following the Olympics, Garrigus was a regular at ATA events, including the Grand American. He also served as a coach with the U.S. Shooting Team from 1992-2002.

“He sold Krieghoffs,” Garrigus said. “They had a category back in Vandalia (the Grand American was previously held in Vandalia, Ohio) called Industry. He shot in the Industry category and was the Industry champion several times.”

Based in Oregon, Montana and Idaho in the final years of his life, Garrigus competed primarily in Pacific International Trapshooting Association events.

“The last 10 years of his career was Shoot PITA, so yes, it was nice recognition from the ATA, although he didn’t have as many targets as most do,” Garrigus said.

“I’m planning on taking a box of Kleenex. His good friend Randy Moeller will be presenting him and his brother Dick will be accepting, and I’ll be sitting their crying. It will be very emotional. I wish he was here to do it. He was very humble and very funny.”


On Twitter: @LesWinkeler​


Sports editor

Les Winkeler is sports editor and outdoors writer for The Southern Illinoisan.

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