Olympic shooting champion Campriani passes baton for "Make a Mark"

2021-06-18 01:06:05 GMT2021-06-18 09:06:05(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LONDON, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Three-time Olympic shooting champion Niccolo Campriani of Italy has passed the baton to former Olympic archery champion Juan Carlos Holgado of Spain, as "Make a Mark" announced on Thursday that the Spaniard would take the project forward.

Campriani, 33, founded the project "Make a Mark" in 2019 to help refugees and forcibly displaced people compete in sport and embrace the Olympic values.

Under his coaching, Eritrean Luna Solomon has been selected for the IOC refugee Olympic team to compete in Tokyo, where displaced athlete Mahdi Yovari will represent Afghanistan.

Holgado will select and mentor a number of refugees with the aim of competing at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Campriani hung up his rifle after taking the golds in men's 10m air rifle and 50m rifle 3 positions at the Rio Olympics. He was so mentally exhausted after years in the shooting range that he did not even have the will to use his rifle for the following three years.

However, a trip to Zambia with the UNHCR reignited Campriani's passion for going back to the range, but this time he was going to help refugees and displaced people compete in sport and to inspire other athletes to help people and "make the world a better place through sport."

Hoping to provide more opportunities for refugees and displaced people to compete in elite-level sport, Campriani invited Holgado to lead the project's archery program for Paris 2024.

"Taking this project forward in archery is an impactful way for me to raise awareness of the worldwide refugee crisis while providing refugees and displaced people a unique opportunity to learn the art of archery which requires both physical and mental toughness," said Holgado, who won team gold for Spain in Barcelona 1992.

"Of course, Paris 2024 is the ultimate goal and I have no doubt that this will be achievable with lots of effort, training and the expert support of Make a Mark and World Archery.

"I can think of no better project to give back my knowledge and experience to those who have not had the opportunity to compete in sport due to an extremely difficult start to life."

Campriani said Holgado, the World Archery Excellence Centre director, has been an integral part of Solomon and Yovari's journey to Tokyo and an active supporter of "Make a Mark" since the beginning.

"I am thrilled that he will now take this challenge on, and I know that he will be able to equip his Make a Mark team with the skills and knowledge needed to become champions," said Campriani. Enditem