Teen Competes With Best In The World

Monday, September 3rd 2007, 12:35 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa teenager is halfway around the world to compete for a shot at the Olympics. The teen, Jon Michael McGrath is the youngest member of the U.S. World Skeet Shooting team and is on the island of Cyprus near Greece to see if his best shot can land him a trip to Beijing next year. News On 6 reporter Ashli Sims reports Jon Michael McGrath has now set his sights on the 2008 Olympics.

"The excitement of pulling a trigger of a gun, that's not something you get every day," says Jon Michael McGrath.

Judging from his record, it seems Jon Michael McGrath was born to shoot. Four months after the first time Jon ever fired a shotgun, he won his first title. That was at the age of 11.

"It was just practice, practice, practice. And like any other sport it felt normal. You just go out there and do what I can. And that day I was just on top of my game," says Jon Michael McGrath.

Jon McGrath, Jon Michael’s father, says what started as a Boy Scout activity has turned into serious competition.

The News On 6 first introduced you to Jon Michael, when he was 14. Watch the November 2006 video: Bishop Kelley Skeet Shooter

Now the junior national champion has traded in the blue skies over Green Country for the Rocky Mountain highs of Colorado Springs, where he has been training with the U.S. World team. Jon Michael McGrath is looking forward to the Olympics in Beijing.

"Going to the Olympics, everybody will know who you are if you win a medal. So that's what I want to do. And be one of the few who can say I actually competed in the Olympics and won a medal," says Jon Michael McGrath.

Jon Michael is closing in on his goal. He is one target out of fourth in the nation and a good showing at the International Sports Federation World Championships in Cyprus this week could secure his ticket. Jon Michael’s dad says his son still shoots with the same passion as he did the first time he picked up a shotgun.

“Especially now since it's his first time to go overseas and where USA on his back, yeah he's fired up," said Jon McGrath.

Jon Michael McGrath will compete on Wednesday and Thursday in Cyprus. Jon McGrath says even if his son doesn't make it to the Olympics in China, Jon Michael McGrath still has decades of competitive shooting ahead of him.

Watch the video: Shooting To Be The Best