Russell Mark, who has competed in five Olympic Games, won a gold medal in double trap-shooting at the 1996 Atlanta Games and a silver medal four years later in Sydney. At both Games his Olympic Village room-mate was Michael Diamond, who won successive gold medals in the trap-shooting. Mark set a record of 189 points in Atlanta, hitting 48 of 50 targets in the final round. The result was equalled eight years later in Athens by Shiekh Ahmed Al-Maktoum, a member of Dubai’s ruling family, and broken in Beijing by Walton Eller, a United States army marksman, who won the 2008 gold medal with 190 points. Mark’s win in Atlanta made him the first shotgun shooter ever to win all four of the world’s major individual titles: the World Cup, the World Cup Final, the world championship and the Olympic Games. His silver medal in Sydney completed a set of silver medals from the same four events.
Mark entered the sport almost accidentally at the age of 17; he had injured an ankle in his preferred sport of Australian football, and had taken up shooting as a diversion while he recovered. By that time he was hooked. He represented Australia in the trap event in the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Olympics, finishing 15th and ninth respectively. He was 32 when the collected gold in Atlanta. He failed to win selection for Athens in 2004, and attended those Games as an athlete liaison officer with the Australian team. In Beijing he finished fifth in the double trap. In 2007 he coached the Kuwait Olympic shooting team. After the 2000 Games he married American shooter Lauryn Ogilvie who went on to become an Olympian and represent Australia at Athens 2004, finishing fourth.
Russell and Lauryn competed alongside each other at the London 2012 Games. This was Russell’s 6th Games appearance as he went on to finish 20th in the double trap.
Harry Gordon, AOC Historian