Preparation for the Summer Olympics in Paris next year is underway in Southern Colorado. USA Shooting is hosting the Rifle and Pistol Olympic and Paralympic shooting trials this week.
300 athletes are competing with the hopes of getting one step closer to their dream. This is one of three trials for rifle and pistol. A max of two athletes in each event will be eligible to make the team so it's highly competitive.
At least five Colorado residents are competing, and one Colorado Springs local, Lucas Kozeniesky, is shooting to make his third Olympic team. The 28-year-old brought home a silver medal from Tokyo in 2020.
Lucas' dad, Craig Kozeniesky, is a retired Marine Corp Colonel and was named CEO of USA Shooting in January 2023.
Craig's career inspired Lucas to try the sport back and high school and he said it's been his biggest passion ever since. He added that there's no better place to train than Colorado Springs.
"I'm very fortunate to be on this campus training all the time," Kozeniesky said. "For me, it's another opportunity to win more medals for the United States."
When he's not training himself, Lucas is helping others through his business "Team Winning Solutions," which offers coaching and mentoring to shooting athletes ages 14 to 18.