For many women and men, the Olympics are the pinnacle of success to aspire to in athletic competition. For one Sailor, that dream has come true… but not just for her. IT1 Sandra Uptagrafft is at the Olympics this year WITH her husband, Eric, who is also competing. This is their story…
Sandra is with the 3rd Naval Construction Regimentout of Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Marietta, Ga. She went with the unit to Afghanistan in 2010 and expressed that her fellow Sailors “have been super supportive of me and my shooting.”
As you can imagine, Sandra is not new to the level of competition it took to get a spot on the Olympic team, which she made in trial held in June at Fort Benning, Ga. In fact, she was an Olympic hopeful for the 2008 team. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Sandra has gold, silver and bronze medals from the U.S. National Championships, plus countless other competitions throughout her 20-year participation in the sport of shooting.
Eric’s record is equally impressive, having been to the Olympics in 1996 and a plethora of other national and world championships throughout his career.
Their connections run deeper than just shooting though. While Eric is now in the Army, he also spent time in the Navy Reserves. He even deployed to Kuwait in 2007. That didn’t stop him from competing though. While on break from deployment he was able to compete in the Munich World Cup, where he shot a 599/600 in men’s prone rifle. He was also the 2001 Navy Male Athlete of the Year.
With all of this background in competing, you may wonder what they think about being in this year’s Olympics together.
Team Uptagrafft… great way to be in the Olympics. They each have become top in their field and have worked for years to reach this level of success, so these words of wisdom are ones we can all appreciate.