At the closing dinner of the IOC’s Prague meeting last night, Prague mayor Pavel Bem announced that the city would be interested in hosting the Summer Olympics in 2016 or 2020. Czech politicians responded with – you guessed it – reserved enthusiasm. Vaclav Klaus, of course, believes it would be a bad idea.

I’m an Olympics nut. In 1984 at the age of 16, I volunteered for the LA Summer Olympics in shooting (Not that I’m any kind of gun enthusiast. It was the venue closest to my grandparents’ house). During the qualifying events, I worked my way up from being a trap loader to be a line judge in trap and skeet shooting, and my call in the gold medal round of trap shooting cost Dan Carlisle of the USA the gold.

With a stadium full of people, Carlisle, Giovanetti of Italy, and Boza of Peru all were shooting perfect rounds (several sets of 25 of 25 targets). They went into a sudden-death shoot-off (I always like to use the term “sudden death” in conjunction with shooting sports).

I called that Carlisle missed the target. The other line judge said he hit it. The stadium was silent. The chief judge (in trap shooting there are three judges) called us for a conference, where he agreed with me. Giovanetti won the gold, but it was an amazing event.

Here’s Dan Carlisle’s recollection of the event (from Clay Shooting USA):

WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE SHOOT YOU HAVE COMPETED IN?

The 1984 Olympics. I tied for the gold with Geovenetti (sic) of Italy and Boza of Peru, two top shots in international trap. After the shoot-off I was third and it all happened very fast. Five thousand people or more were watching. And when we left the stadium the crowd was shouting and cheering loud. I think all three of us had tears in our eyes. It was an experience of a lifetime.

It was an experience of a lifetime for me too. I still have my participants’ medal. And I’d love to see the games come to Prague.

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