- US Diver Don Harper: Melbourne Olympics Silver Medalist and Innovative Technician Passes Away at 85
- Legendary American Competitive Shooter Lones Wigger Passes Away at 80
“He must have nerves of steel to fire such a score,” said a spectator of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics of Army First Lieutenant, Lones Wigger, who was competing in the smallbore rifle prone competition. Wigger’s score of 597, which set a new Olympic and world record.
Unfortunately for the American, a Hungarian named Laszlo Hammerl went next and tied Wigger’s score, and because of a tie breaker, went on to take gold. Wigger’s silver medal was his first of three Olympic medals. He got his gold medal four days later in the 50-meter rifle three positions competition, and got his revenge as well as Hammerl finished in third.
Competing in three Olympiads, Wigger is considered one of the greatest competitive rifle shooters in the United States. He passed away on December 14, 2017. He was 80 years old.
Wigger never considered himself a natural talent. He prided himself on his work ethic, and continuous desire to practice and improve. As this article explains, persistence is all.
Wigger’s philosophy was clearly stated on a sign that hung in the Fort Benning indoor smallbore rifle range. In plain view for all to read and absorb, it read “Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
In this article, Wigger outlined things to do to be a world-class shooter:
Five months after the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, four lieutenants from four different branches of the US Military came together as anonymous guests on the game show, “I’ve Got a Secret”. The popular program that broadcasted on American network CBS from 1952 to 1967 in black and white was the less formal, loosey-goosey version of another very popular game show, “What’s My Line?” (See this link for my post on 5-gold-medalist Don Schollander appearing on that program.)
Steve Allen was hosting that show on March 8, 1965, and guest celebrities asked questions to guess what the secret was, ie: who the heck these four military men did. And the guest celebrities – Jayne Meadows, Gary Morton, Betsy Palmer and Henry Morgan – did not have a clue, although they did tend to get, I believe, a bit racy in their questioning.
The four military men were:
Here are the four American Military gold medalists in this 7-minute segment from “I’ve Got a Secret”.