Aiming for the Olympics

Georgia Southern Produces Two Olympic Hopefuls

It was an international summer of competition for two Olympic hopefuls. Georgia Southern senior air rifle markswoman Rosemary Kramer, and sophomore archer Adam Heidt both competed at the World University Games in Naples, Italy, in preparation for the Olympic Trials.

Rosemary Kramer holding a competition rifle

Rosemary Kramer

Hailing from Culloden, Georgia, Rosemary Kramer comes from a family where shooting is a way of life. Her parents were both competitive shooters and educated her on the safety and discipline of the sport. 

“I did it a lot when I was a kid, from deer hunting to shooting balloons and tin cans, just to have fun with the family,” said Kramer. 

So it seems only natural that now she’s a member of the USA National Development Team and won a coveted spot at the Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Center. She moved to Colorado Springs in August to begin training eight hours a day, six days a week in preparation for the Olympic Trials. 

“When school was out, the very next week I went to the ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) World Cups in Munich,” said Kramer. 

She won third place at the spring selection match hosted by USA Shooting in Fort Benning, Georgia. That qualified Kramer to go to Munich, Germany, for the World Cup and earn her minimum qualifying score needed to compete for the Olympic Team. Kramer then represented Georgia Southern and Team USA at the World University Games in Naples, Italy, in July. She was also selected for the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August.

Next, Kramer will compete at the 2019 Winter Airgun Championships in December in Colorado Springs and the second half of the Olympic Trials in January. Those two crucial scores are combined to determine Olympic qualifying.

Rifle coach Sandra Worman considers Kramer’s chances very good as one of only 11 women in the U.S. eligible to make the Olympic team.

“One thing I have noticed about Rosemary is she rises to the occasion,” said Worman. “But she really knocks it out of the park, when it’s a high pressure situation with a lot on the line.“

Whether or not Kramer competes in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, she’ll return to Statesboro to finish her biology degree and graduate in December 2020.

Kramer attributes her success to her coach.

“Sandra Worman was just amazing. As soon as I got her as a coach, my life both in and out of shooting completely changed. My life just did a 180 back in the direction I wanted it to go.“

That change in direction helped the awards and honors for Kramer pile up. She became the first NCAA medalist and All-American in Georgia Southern program history

“Breaking the national record at the NCAA’s was one of the biggest moments in my life,” said Kramer. “The Student-Athlete of the Year is nominated by other student athletes, and that just really meant a lot to me. And then obviously, the Scholar-Athlete of the Year was huge for me because I’ve always put in a lot of work into my grades.” 

No matter what happens at the Olympic Trials, Kramer has learned a life lesson through competitive rifle that will carry her throughout life.

“I’ve learned to move on. If you take a shot you don’t like, you can’t go back and change it. You just gotta keep on moving forward and take the next shot.”

Adam Heidt pulling a bow back

Adam Heidt

The World University Games is considered the most prestigious multisport event held every other year for collegiate athletes worldwide. 

“You know, it’s definitely the biggest collegiate event there is,” said Adam Heidt. “There were only two people that USA Archery could send from each division. Because I placed in the top two at the Collegiate Nationals, I was one of two for recurve bow.”

Heidt competed in the first stage of the Olympic Trials in Dublin, Ohio, last August, coming in 12th place. 

Competing in archery since the age of 12, Heidt grew up in Effingham County in south Georgia and started high school there. But he finished online at Georgia Cyber Academy when he was selected for a spot as a resident athlete at the Chula Vista Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in California.

“I was the top cadet shooter in the country between the ages of 15 and 17,” said Heidt. “So I was asked to apply and made the team. I moved to California full time for two years to train and compete. I left the Olympic training program in 2018 and came back home to start college so I could compete collegiately. I’m a biology major planning to go to vet school after I graduate in 2022 or 2023.”

Going to Georgia Southern seemed natural to Heidt.

“A lot of my family and friends have gone here, and I’ve been around the atmosphere my whole life,” said Heidt. “I lived at home last year in Springfield and commuted. But I’ve got an apartment near campus this year, so I’m excited to be a part of campus life a little more — football games and stuff.”

Heidt has learned some valuable lessons through competitive archery.

“You’re going to win some tournaments and be on top of the world. But the next tournament, you could easily just drop down. I think you always have to keep things in perspective and just take every day as it comes.”

Liz Walker