He pulled the trigger on success

In 1996, Keith Sanderson was the type of US Marine who wanted to be the best at everything—and the Marine Corps, he said, “puts a big emphasis on marksmanship.”

So he practiced. A lot.

“I got to where I was the best (pistol shooter) in my unit, and then the best in the base, and then the best in the division. And then I won the Marine Corps championships twice and started competing on the national stage with the Marine Corps shooting teams,” he said.

Keith’s swift ascent in the sport of men’s rapid-fire pistol shooting included a fifth-place finish in the 2008 Beijing Games, and culminated in 2009 when he won an unprecedented three medals in World Cup matches and was ranked as the best rapid-fire shooter in the world. A devastating forearm injury in 2010 cost him his No. 1 ranking, but after extensive rehabilitation and refining a new technique, Keith qualified for another shot at the top spot in the 2012 London Games.

Currently, Keith’s a Hawaii-based Pacific Army Reserve sergeant and marksmanship instructor for both the US Army and Marine Corps.

  • 2012 London Games competitor
  • 2008 Beijing Games competitor
  • 2011 World Cup Final Wroclaw, bronze medal
  • 2010 World Championship, team bronze medal
  • 2009 World Cup Beijing, gold medal
  • 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, first place
  • 2007 Pan American Games, silver medal
  • 2005 Military Rapid Fire World Champion, and National Championship—gold medal

“Teaching our soldiers to learn how to make their own amazing improvements helped motivate me to perform better myself.”