Of all the summer sports in the Games, few require the precision of Rifle shooting, where the bulls-eye for some events is the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
Shaklee Pure Performance Team athlete Matt Emmons knows more than anyone about the precision, planning, and patience required to punch those bull’s-eyes; he is generally acclaimed as the greatest living US Rifle competitor in national, international, and Games competitions. With three Games medals to his credit (’04 gold, ’08 silver, and ’12 bronze) and dozens of World Championship, World Cup, and National Championship medals, no other competitor comes close to his Rifle marksmanship accomplishments.
Unless, of course, you count his wife, Katy Emmons, who also owns three Games shooting medals (’04 bronze, ’08 gold and silver) and just as many other medals.
Those six Games medals are pretty important to Matt and Katy but not nearly as precious to them as their four special achievements since 2009: Julia (age 10), Marty (6), Emma (3½), and Gabby (2). “Of course, we’re proud of our shooting accomplishments,” said Matt, “but that can’t compare to the number one priority in our life now: our kids.”
While both Matt and Katy have remained involved in Rifle shooting as competitors and/or coaches, they had no problem expanding their focus to raising children. “Katy was born to be a mom and does a fantastic job building a loving home for the kids,” said Matt. “And we definitely know the importance of health and positive activities for the kids, so we keep those a priority every day.”
Matt’s view of health may be sharper than many of ours. He was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in September of 2010, right at the peak of his brilliant shooting career. Thanks to a healthy lifestyle—he is acclaimed as one of the hardest-working athletes in the sport—and timely treatment, Matt beat cancer and clamped down even harder on his competitive habits. Now he enjoys sharing those healthy habits with his children.
“We absolutely love to get out with the kids,” he reports with pride. “We do forest cleanup for our local hunting club, so we get out in nature all the time together and the kids love it. Julia has started to golf, which is a wonderful family activity since we can play it together…no matter what the skill levels, we can all have fun. And we make our garden/yardwork activities fun for the kids, which is great exercise for us. It’s harder to get out in winter, so we really take advantage of summer activities.”
Like Mom and Dad, the Emmons children don’t neglect other healthy habits. “We play hard, but we ensure the kids get plenty of sleep with a consistent bed time, stay hydrated, and have a well-balanced diet,” explained Matt. “Katy always puts out a basket or plate of fruit for snacks—bananas, oranges, Mandarins—which is much better than sweets and the kids love them. And, of course, they always take their Shakleekids™ Incredivites®.”
And will any of the Emmons children become Games competitors? “We really don’t care. We don’t stress about competition or push it on the kids. Most important is doing activities that we all enjoy, putting our energy into it, doing it well, being a good person.” Then Matt stated with a smile in his voice: “We want the kids to know that their parents love them and that hugs are OK!”