Thursday, Jul. 24, 2008

92. Matt Emmons

United States
Age: 27

Who needs a gold medal when you wind up with the girl? In Athens, Matt Emmons, one of America's premier marksmen, was closing in on a second gold medal. Going into his final shot, he had a comfortable lead. "All I had to do was hit the damn target," he says, "and I win." He aimed, fired, and — nailed the target of the guy shooting next to him. Zero points, no medal, eighth place. Naturally, Emmons retired to the bar at the shooting venue to drink away his historic gaffe. A Czech shooter, Katerina Kurkova, tapped him on the shoulder, to tell him how bad she felt for him. "That was my foot in the door,'" he says. They married in 2007. Emmons got the big prize in Athens: now it's time to win that second gold.