406 MT Sports

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Montana's Lones Wigger will celebrate his 80th birthday on Friday night with USA Shooting set to dedicate a portion of its headquarters in honor of the Olympic shooting legend.

USA Shooting will rename the interior of its building and upper range as the Lones Wigger Legacy Hall & Range.

Certain areas of the building and range have been enhanced with Lones Wigger Legacy graphics and updated signing showcasing USA Shooting's history.

More than 300 friends, family members, teammates and competitors are expected to attend the event.

Wigger, a Great Falls native, is a four-time Olympian and two-time Olympic champion. He is regarded as the greatest competitive rifle shooter America has ever seen.

Wigger has won more medals in international shooting competition (111) than any other shooting athlete in the world. He also held or co-held 27 world records — 14 team and 13 individual.

Wigger also was one of the nation's top collegiate shooters while on the Montana State rifle team from 1957-60, earning All-America honors each season. An inaugural inductee into Montana State's Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986, He graduated from Montana State in 1960, and received the school's prestigious Blue and Gold Award in 1972.

He has been involved in the shooting sports as an athlete, administrator, coach and volunteer for 68 years. Wigger also was a highly decorated officer in the U.S. military during the Viet Nam War. 

USA Shooting launched the Lones Wigger Legacy campaign earlier this year, which included the Lones Wigger/Junior Olympic Endowment.

Money put toward that endowment will be used to support youth and Junior Olympic initiatives in the future.

"The Lones Wigger Project is a wonderful and appropriate recognition for a man that has accomplished so much in the sport and has done so much to help others," campaign chairman Ernie Vande Zande said. "He is the greatest rifle shooter the United States ever produced, without equal."

Load comments