Shaky Olympic debut for Navy Reservist


Michael Molinaro/Army
Uptagrafft competing on Sunday at London’s Royal Artillery Barracks.

Though sailors are trained to execute in high-stress situations, competing at the Olympics still gave Reservist Information Systems Technician 1st Class Sandra Uptagrafft a case of the jitters.

Uptagrafft fired her first Olympic shot on Sunday at the women’s 10-meter air pistol event. She placed 28th with a score of 378, according to a Defense Department release. Wenjen Guo of China won gold with a score of 488.1.

“Once I hit the match button, it hit me that I am at the Olympic Games, and it kind of took me out of my rhythm,” Uptagrafft  said. “It took me a while to settle down and refocus. That’s what I was able to do my last two strings. It’s really disappointing, because I knew going into the match that this would happen.”

A high-point of her time in London so far was participating in the Opening Ceremony with her husband, Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Uptagrafft, who also qualified for the London 2012 shooting team.

“Walking into the opening ceremonies was the ultimate high,” she said. “I still get goosebumps thinking about it now. To walk the opening ceremonies with my husband, hand-in-hand, just made it that much more meaningful and something I will carry the rest of my life.”

Uptagrafft will get another chance to overcome her nerves when she competes Wednesday in the 25-meter sport pistol event.

Which Olympic events or Olympians have you been following?

Update: Uptagrafft competed today in her second event of London 2012, the 25-meter pistol. She placed 28th out of 39. Kim Jangmi of South Korea won gold.


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