Vincent Hancock is the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medalist in men’s skeet, making him the first skeet shooter to repeat as Olympic champion. He also competed in Rio, finishing 15th overall. He was back on top of an international podium in 2018, however, winning the men’s skeet contest at the ISSF World Championships.
As part of our preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, NBC Olympics sent questionnaires to a wide range of athletes to learn more about their lives on and off the field of play.
Here’s some of what we found out about Vincent Hancock.
Tell us about your family. My wife, Rebekah, and I have been married since 2008, and we have two beautiful daughters, Bailey and Brenlyn.
How has your hometown of Eatonton, Georgia shaped who you are today? Growing up in a small town set the standard for humility and gratitude. I never knew if I would make it out of the small town setting, and now I have competed in over two dozen countries. I can't be more thankful for the lessons I learned from the hardworking, blue-collar people that I was raised around.
How much do you train? How much do you sleep? I wake up at 6:30 to get my girls ready for school. I then take my oldest daughter to her school at 8:00 while my wife takes my younger daughter to her school. I head to the shooting range after that, and I will train at the shooting range for about two to five hours depending on what I am trying to accomplish for the day. After that, I will hit the gym for some cardio and weight training.
Is there anything surprising about how you train? I think most people think that I shoot hundreds of thousands of rounds each year to stay at this level. Actually, I focus on quality for every shot and only shoot about 40,000 rounds per year. Roughly 1,000-1,200 per week on average.
What’s your earliest memory of shooting? I didn't even know shooting was in the Olympics until I had already shot for almost two years. When I was 11, I found out that there was a range in Atlanta where they held the '96 Games and it’s history after that.
Is there anything you would change about your sport? Honestly, I love my sport the way it is. However, I do wish that I could change the perception of my sport. It is the safest sport in the world and has changed so many lives for the good.
Has anyone told you that you wouldn’t succeed? I had several people tell me I couldn't do it. I was too young, needed more experience. Now, that I have made the age they told me I needed to be to get good, I am getting old. I take everything they say and use it, because like I tell my children: "You can do anything you set your mind to, and accept that it is possible."