3-time Olympic medalist shooter Lt. Col. Lones Wigger, dead at 80
By Chris Eger
Lt. Col. Wigger won more medals in international shooting competitions– 111– than any other athlete in the world. (Photo: Shooting Sports USA)
Retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and one of the greatest competitive rifle shooters in history, Lones W. Wigger, Jr., passed away Thursday at his home in Colorado.
Wigger, born in Great Falls, Montana in 1937, was three-time All-American with the Montana State University rifle program and from there entered the Army, serving with the storied Army Marksmanship Unit for 20 years. Besides taking a break to run the 23rd Infantry Division’s sniper school in Vietnam, he was on the U.S. Olympic shooting team five times between 1964 and 1980, winning two golds and a silver.
As noted by USA Shooting earlier this year when they announced an endowment and legacy project in Wigger’s honor, he was also a “24-time World Champion, 33-time world-record holder, and 91-time National Champion” and the organization recently renamed their headquarters the Lones Wigger Legacy Hall & Shooting Center.
Lones W. Wigger, Jr., 1972 Olympic Champion – 300m Free Rifle, beating out athletes from Hungary and the Soviet Union in Munich, West Germany.
As the only athlete to win medals in all three Olympic rifle shooting disciplines, and with