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Franklin County sophomore works to earn spot at 2020 Olympics

At a young age, son of a USAA International Shotgun coach, Camron Burks was drawn to shooting sports. Now at age 16, Burks has earned a spot on the 2020 International National Junior Team and is two events away from earning a trip to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“That’s the chance of a lifetime for anyone, and for someone his age, it’s really impressive,” said Camron’s father, Tim Burks.

Camron earned a contract to join the national junior team at the end of July in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he shot the highest score of the event with a 116/125. 

He will compete Sept. 7 in Kerrville, Texas, and in March in Tucson, Ariz. The two scores from Kerrville and Tucson will be added together, and the top 12 athletes will receive invitations to join the U.S. Olympic team.

“I’m just tickled for him to be able to make it that far,” said Tim. “It’s probably more stress on him that it is on me.”

Camron said he spends time training almost every single day and prepares for the events far in advance through his diet and watching his sleep schedule to ensure his body is at peak condition to compete.

“When you get to that level, your day-to-day activities start to affect your abilities,” Tim said.

Tim said his relationship with Camron is not the same as most coaches because of the father/ son bond. He said instead of telling Camron what he is doing wrong, he videos him to watch himself back and self-troubleshoot.

Camron said having his dad as his coach has brought them closer and given them something to bond over. 

Tim he pushed Camron at a young age to pursue shooting sports, but the drive Camron has had to accomplish so much is nothing Tim can take credit for.

“I just sort of introduced him to it and wanted him to see if it was something he’d like to do,” Tim said. “If they aren’t self-willed and self-driven enough to get it done, you can’t push them into it, and you can’t train them hard enough to get them to do it. It’s got to be within them.”

Camron said it has been his goal to make the national junior team for three years, and he’s honored to have the opportunity in front of him at such a young age.

“It’s all just so cool to have this chance,” Camron said. “Most of my friends will ask questions about it or joke with me that they will have to buy tickets or watch me on the TV if I make it to the Olympics.”

Camron said his goal is to one day make it to the Olympics and earn a medal.

“Even if it’s not gold, I think I’d be happy just to have any medal to be able to say that I am one of the best in the world,” Camron said. 

He said his favorite part about the sport is getting to travel, meet people from around the world and compete.

“It’s kind of like a friendship almost, even if you’re competing against each other,” Camron said.

Tim said he is proud of his son and the determination he has to work hard and be successful. He said he and Camron are hard at work training for Kerrville in September and look forward to seeing where this road leads.