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Champlain resident wins bronze at Empire Games

BINGHAMTON Peter Visconti, a resident of the village of Champlain, was recently awarded a bronze medal for target shooting at the summer Empire State Games. Visconti led his team to a third place finish and he placed fourth in the state, just missing an individual medal. This is not the first time he competed at the games or earned a medal for shooting. Visconti has competed in the 1985, 1989, 1990, and 1992 games, with three gold and one silver medal. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer in Champlain, Visconti retired from competitive shooting after the 1992 games when the team he was on won a gold medal and set a state record. This past February, after a major surgery, he decided to pick up the sport again. Visconti began competitive smallbore rifle shooting back at his high school on Long Island where he was team captain, set a few records and was later named as the fourth best Long Island High School Athlete of the 1980s by Newsday. Upon graduation, Visconti attended St. Johns University on a shooting scholarship and had a very successful college career. He went on to coach a high school team going undefeated over a three-year period. In 1990, he served as the head Rifle and Pistol Coach for the USMMA Academy. In 1992, Visconti decided he did not have the time to devote to the amount of practice to maintain the skills he desired to compete at a level he was used to, and decided to retire. This past February, he started shooting with the Plattsburgh Rod and Gun Club and began to train for the tryouts. The tryouts for the Adirondack Team were held in early June in Rotterdam and Visconti placed first for the three position, prone and air rifle events. I considered it an honor just to make the team and represent the North Country, said Visconti. My goal when I started shooting again was to just make the team. When I showed up for the tryouts, I was amazed at how much the equipment has improved; I knew I would have to shoot my best to make the team ... I was shocked to find out I finished first. Visconti plans to try out again for the 2009 games.

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