Matt Emmons qualifies for '12 Olympics


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- American rifle shooter Matt Emmons has qualified for the 2012 Olympics, less than a year after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Emmons was diagnosed last September and had his thyroid removed. He was competing again several months later.

Emmons won an Olympic title in 2004 in prone rifle, although he's received more attention for final-shot mishaps that cost him two more gold medals. In 2004, he shot at the wrong target at the end of the 3-position competition. In 2008, also in 3-position, his gun accidentally went off while he was still lining up his last shot.

He finished off the podium both times -- after having the lead heading into the final shot.

Emmons did win a silver medal in prone rifle in 2008.

"I can't wait to have the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games next year," Emmons said. "I have a lot to work on between now and then, but I'm really looking forward to it."

USA Shooting uses a points system to determine Olympic spots. USA Shooting announced Thursday that Emmons has qualified for 2012, pending formal approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

"Matt continues to overcome personal challenges and push the limits of the sport," coach Dave Johnson said. "I know he's passionate about reaching the Olympic podium again."