Sportsman's Daily


Member of US Rifle Team Sprains Trigger Finger in Final Workout; Doubtful for Games

Olympic Shooter

Colonel Art Taylor demonstrates Olympic form before injuring trigger finger in ear-related mishap.

BUFFALO, NY (The Sportsman's Daily Wire Service) — Colonel Art Turner tried squeezing in one final workout before he was to depart for Beijing to compete in the Men's 10 meter Air Pistol and Men's Free Pistol events. Turner was going through his usual pre-range routine of grueling finger exercises when he felt something pull.

“The irony is that it happened when I pulled my finger from my ear, which is not even part of my routine,” explained a despondent Turner. “I was startled by a loud noise, pulled my finger out too fast and felt something tear. It was a sickening feeling. In just a matter of seconds, all that work, all those hours in the basement and backyard, everything right down the drain. It’s so depressing. I don’t really want to talk about it.”

In a sport not known to attract – or necessarily reward -- fitness fanatics, Turner stood out for his (relatively) intense training regimen.

“Many underestimate the level of athleticism required to fire 60 shots at a target for two whole hours,” said Major David Johnson, the rifle coach of the 2004 US Olympics team. “It takes stamina, hand-eye coordination and the nerves of a highly trained assassin. If you don’t know what to look for, your average rifleman can easily be mistaken for a professional bowler or the guys you see hanging off a garbage truck. They may not look like athletes, especially with their shirts off, but trust me, they’re ripped where it counts.”

Turner’s half-hour workouts were legendary among his peers, most of whom never saw the inside of a gym. In fact, neither did Turner, whose self-styled regimen included simulated speed-dialing and rapid-fire finger-pointing, an exercise he picked up from his fault-finding wife Laura.

“Compared to most so-called athletes who compete in shooting sports Turner’s thirty minute pre-range routine is monumental, but what does it say when a guy who’s supposed to be the Lance Armstrong of his sport – if you want to call it that -- sprains his index finger basically by pulling his finger out of his ass?” said John McDonnell, the legendary track and field coach. “Ok, ok, ear, ass, whatever. I don’t mean to disrespect the guy or what he does – at the end of the day, you can run the 100 meter in under 9 seconds, but you can’t outrun a guy with a gun.”

Olympic team alternate Bill “Bulls-eye” James was to have taken Turner’s place, but he was arrested during a stunning display of marksmanship at a liquor store outside of Seattle. Sergeant Major Armstrong will be heading to Beijing as Turner’s replacement.

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