They say that professional shooters are like a good wine. Decent wine is characterized by the maturity and steadiness of ripening, which is a great example to describe athlete's sustainability in shooting sport.
A fact: comparing to others, the shooting sport has the most people involved since the beginning of Summer Olympics. There are other ‘sell-outs’ too: Equestrian, Sailing and Rowing.
The participation in 6 Olympic Games seems to be a standard set for top shooting athletes. Furthermore, of all shooting athletes who has 6 (or more) trips to the Olympics, 4 people have never seen a silver medal.
The title ‘shooter with most appearances at the Olympics’ belongs to Afanasijs Kuzmins. He went to his first Olympics under the flag of USSR in 1976. After Soviets fell apart he continued to shoot as a Latvian. This way he left his footprint in two historical eras, taking part in total of 9 Olympic Games. Afanasijs won 2 Olympic medals - one for each country he represented.
In 2012 he had his last Olympic Games in London - at that time he was 65 years old.
By the way, the oldest registered Olympian is Oscar Swahn of Sweden - also a shooter, he competed in 1920 Olympic Games in Belgium aged 72.
Second place deserves to be split between two:
Nino Salukvadze, female markswoman from Georgia has competed at 8 Olympic Games (first as member of team USSR, and the rest - representing Georgia). Her Olympic achievements include gold and silver acquired in Seoul in 1988, and bronze which she obtained 20 years later (!) in Beijing, 2008. This is supplemented by six world champion titles.
Another interesting fact is that in Rio de Janeiro Nino has competed with her son, Tsotne Machavriani. It was a first ever occasion for mother and son to compete on the same Olympic games!
Slovenian Rajmond Debevec has visited 8 Olympic Games during period from 1984 to 2012, winning 3 medals. Like Afanasijs and Nino, he has started performing under the flag of Yugoslavia, which then has split into few countries, and one of them was Slovenia.
The third place goes to Peruvian Francisco Boza, who competed at 7 Olympics during period from 1980 to 2004 and won one silver medal. In 2016 Francisco carried the country's flag at Olympics 2016 in Rio!
After finishing his sporting career he became a politician and later got involved into corruption cases and even got arrested.
Enjoyed reading about frequent guests at the Olympics? See below for more interesting and entertaining reads!