Soldiers Earn Spots on US Olympic Team

Soldiers Earn Spots on US Olympic Team

U.S. Army Sergeants Sagen Maddalena and Ivan Roe earned spots on Team USA in the 10m Air Rifle event for the 2024 Paris Olympics after completing USA Shooting’s Air Gun Olympic Trials Part 3 at the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Judith Legerski Competition Center in Anniston, Alabama, Jan. 5-7, 2024.
Photo by: U.S. Army/Lt. Col. Michelle Lunato

Two members of the Army Marksmanship Unit cemented their spots to represent Team USA at the 2024 Paris Olympics following their performance at the Olympic Trials.

Sgts. Sagen Maddalena and Ivan Roe, members of the Army Marksmanship Unit’s International Rifle Team, “qualified for Team USA and will represent the nation in the women’s and men’s 10m air rifle events during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” the Army Marksmanship Unit announced on Instagram.

Maddalena and Roe competed against about 250 fellow marksmen from across the country during USA Shooting’s Air Gun Olympic Trials Jan. 5–7 in Anniston, Alabama. The two soldiers from Fort Moore, Georgia, formerly Fort Benning, won two of the three available air rifle spots for the Olympic Games.

The Paris Olympics are scheduled for July 26–Aug. 11.

For a country to compete in an event at the Olympic Games, “athletes must first earn quota slots,” according to an Army news release.

Prior to this most recent Olympic trial, USA Shooting athletes had already secured three of four possible quotas in air rifle, two of which were secured by members of the Army Marksmanship Unit, and two of the four possible quotas in air pistol during previous competitions, according to the news release.

Maddalena, a Groveland, California, native who competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, beat 171 female competitors to solidify her place on Team USA. She said the win felt “pretty surreal.”

“The competition was so tough,” Maddalena told USA Shooting after qualifying for the Paris Olympics. “I’m proud of myself. … I worked for it. I definitely put in the miles and the hours.”

Roe, a Bozeman, Montana, native, edged out 77 other male competitors and came in 9.1 points above the second-place finisher. This will be his first Olympics.

After realizing he had qualified for the Olympics, Roe told USA Shooting he felt a mixture of “relief, excitement … and giddiness,” and he “started shaking.”

For Roe, the reality of the win was still sinking in. “I don’t think it’s really set in yet,” Roe told WVTM13, a local NBC television affiliate. “It was a weight off of my shoulders. It was just really relieving to know … the competitions are done, and I don’t have to stress about making it anymore.”