Friday, September 16, 2016

An Olympian in our midst

Morgan Craft, a member of Point Bethel UMC in Hughesville, Pa., Williamsport District, was a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team as a skeet shooter. She placed fifth in the Women’s skeet semi-final.

By Sandii Peiffer, LINK staff

Morgan Craft began shooting rifles in 4-H at the age of seven, under the instruction of her father and grandparents. In high school, Craft honed her skills behind a shotgun, and her first international skeet shooting competition was at the age of 14. After competing at an international level through high school and college, this year she achieved her lifelong dream to become a member of the U.S. Olympic Team, competing in Women’s Skeet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this summer.

Craft is also member of Point Bethel UMC in Hughesville, Pa., Williamsport District.

“The faith I have in my relationship with God keeps me resilient in everything I do,” said Craft. “I trust in Him and in myself that I have done everything during training that I possibly could to be the best athlete I can be, and that is why I have the confidence to go compete on the world stage.”

In 2015 USA Shooting named her Athlete of the Year when she became the 2015 World Champion, after medaling twice in prior back-to-back World Cup events. In 2016 Craft was the gold medal winner in the World Cup held in Cyprus, cementing her place in the 2016 Olympic team.

On December 8, 2015, the Pennsylvania State Legislature passed a Resolution designating December 11, 2015, as “Morgan Craft Day” in Pennsylvania; “recognizing Morgan Craft for her national and international championships in the sport of Women’s Skeet; congratulating her for earning a spot on the United States Olympic team for the XXXI Olympiad to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the summer of 2016; and wishing her continued success.” (House Resolution 596)

“My church has always supported me in everything I’ve done, whether that be going to school in another state or traveling around the world and earning my way onto the Olympic Team,” said Craft. “They support me 110 percent. The Sunday before I left for Rio they brought me to the front of the church and the whole congregation gathered around, held hands, and we all prayed for my safety and guidance.”

After placing fifth in the Women’s Skeet semi-finals at the Olympics in Rio, Craft posted on her Facebook Athlete page, “I can confidently say I gave it my all and never gave up! I need to trust in God and trust that everything happens for a reason! I’m blessed to even be given this opportunity to represent the greatest country on Earth at the Rio Olympics.”

Craft graduated from “shotgun powerhouse” Lindenwood University in 2015 majoring in Exercise Science. She hopes to become a physicians assistant in cardiology.

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