RIO DE JANEIRO -- Two Olympics, two gold medals and two Olympic records later, Vincent Hancock is ready for a three-peat at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
The 2015 world champion in skeet shooting has high expectations for himself, despite the exponentially increasing pressure surrounding the Games leading up to his competition on Aug. 12-13. Another Olympic victory would make Hancock the sixth-ever American to win three consecutive gold medals in an individual event and the first skeet shooter to do so.
“I don’t really feel any more pressure than what I normally put on myself,” Hancock said. “I have high expectations. I always expect to go and win every time I step out on the range.”
Six of the top-10 skeet shooters from the 2012 Games will be returning to the competition, in addition to all four finalists from the 2015 world championships. Hancock was the champion of both events.
“My motto has always been, ‘If you don’t miss, then you can’t be beat,’” Hancock said. “Perfection is name of our game. We have to be as perfect as we possibly can, especially when we get into our finals.”
Hancock has a long list of accomplishments, including becoming the first to shoot a perfect 157, but despite all the success, family remains his priority. He makes every effort to pick up his daughters, 5-year-old Bailey and 4-year-old Brenlyn, from school every day.
“Family is huge for me,” Hancock said. “My heart is where my family is and I can’t wait to get back to Fort Worth (Texas) afterwards.”
Hancock has noticed that Bailey is beginning to understand his profession as the Olympic hype increases. He spoke to her class last year about what his job. But not until she saw him on television did he hear his daughter note that “Daddy going to the Olympics is so cool.”
“I want them to understand how to shoot,” Hancock said. “I grew up [shooting] and I loved it so I want to pass that on to them. I just want them to do what they love and be passionate.”
Nicole Chrzanowski is a student in the Sports Media Certificate program at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.