What you need to know about Keith Sanderson, U.S Army Shooter in Paris Olympics

Born on February 2, 1975, Keith Sanderson is an American sport shooter who has competed in three Olympics and is a renowned rapid-fire pistol shooter. In 2008, 2012, and 2016, he competed for the United States at the Olympic Games.

He is a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program and is connected to the US Army Marksmanship Unit in Fort Benning, Georgia. Likewise, Sanderson is qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Keith Sanderson qualified for the Paris Olympics 2024

Keith Sanderson and eight other athletes: Mary Tucker, Sagen Maddalena, Austen Smith, Derrick Mein, Rachel Tozier, Alexis “Lexi” Lagan, Ivan Roe, and Katelyn Abeln – secured their spots in smallbore shooting events for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic Games. This achievement came after the completion of the U.S. Olympic Trials-Shooting Smallbore Part Three, held in Fort Moore, Georgia.

Specifically, Sanderson earned his qualification in the men’s rapid-fire pistol event for the Paris Olympics. Sanderson, who currently resides in Monument, Colorado, has previously represented the United States at three Olympic Games – 2008, 2012, and 2016. Throughout his career, he has served in both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. In the lead-up to the 2024 Olympics, Sanderson was a part of the 2023 Pan American Games team as well as the 2023 World Championship team.

Early Life of Shooter Keith Sanderson

Keith Sanderson was born on February 2, 1975, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States. However, he currently lives in Colorado Springs, CO. He stands tall at 1.83 meters (6 feet) and weighs 95 kilograms (209 pounds). His parents are Ron and Karen Sanderson, and he has one brother named Tim.

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Keith Sanderson attended John Marshall High School in San Antonio, Texas.

Sanderson’s Wife Claire is also part of the U.S Army

Sanderson is married to Claire Sanderson. Both Keith and Claire are part of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. Additionally, Keith serves as the chief marksman instructor at the USMC (United States Marine Corps) base in Hawaii.

Keith Sanderson Began his Shooting journey when he was at the U.S Army

Sanderson began his shooting journey in 1996, participating in Marine Corps matches. Throughout his career, he has served in both the Marine Corps and the US Army. He held the position of Chief Marksmanship Instructor for the Marine Corps Base in Hawaii.

In the early stages of his career, Sanderson achieved remarkable success. In 2004, he became the Rapid Fire National Champion. The following year, in 2005, he secured two titles: the Free Pistol National Champion and the CISM Military Rapid Fire World Champion.

In 2007, Sanderson participated in the World Cup Munich, where he earned a Bronze Medal. Later that year, at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, he won the silver medal, only being defeated by Cuba’s Leuris Pupo.

U.S Army Shooter Keith Sanderson Early Years Training
Image: Keith Sanderson Shooting Class in 2011 (Source: YouTube)

At the 2008 Olympic Games, Sanderson secured a 5th place finish and was also named the Rapid Fire National Champion that year. His accomplishments continued in 2009 when he became the Bronze Medalist at the World Cup Munich, Silver Medalist at the World Cup Changwon, Gold Medalist at the World Cup Beijing, and was honored as the USA Shooting Male Athlete of the Year.

In 2010, Sanderson’s team earned a Bronze Medal at the World Championships. The following year, in 2011, he secured a silver medal at the World Cup Changwon and a Bronze Medal at the World Cup Final in Wroclaw.

At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Sanderson finished in 14th position in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol – Men category. In 2014, he won the World Cup USA with a Gold Medalist title and was also named the Rapid Fire National Champion once again.

Professional Career

In 2015, Sanderson emerged victorious as the winner of the NRA National Precision Pistol Championships, which is depicted in the image at the top of this page, showing him on the podium at Camp Perry. His score that year was 2655, allowing him to defeat the defending champion, Brian Zins, by 14 points. Additionally, Sanderson was named the USA Shooting Athlete of the Year for Pistol in 2014 and 2015, as well as the Male Athlete of the Year in 2009.

In 2016, before competing in the men’s 25-meter Rapid Fire Pistol shooting event at the Olympic Games, Sergeant First Class Keith Sanderson had to rebuild his gun to replace a broken trigger. Sanderson took on the role of a gunsmith and earned 290 points in the first qualification round on Friday, August 12th, just one point away from advancing to the final. Ultimately, he finished in ninth place. It was his third time participating in the Olympic Games.

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The following year, in 2017, Keith Sanderson, from Colorado Springs, CO, received the title of USA Shooting Male Athlete of the Year. The Rapid Fire Pistol specialist and three-time Olympian earned this honor with his gold-medal-winning performance at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final. Sanderson finished the Final with 33 hits, just one hit away from the current World Record.

Earlier in the season, he also won silver at the USA Shooting National Championships and finished in sixth place at the ISSF World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan. Additionally, Sanderson picked up his air pistol to compete at the recent Winter Air Gun Championships, finishing in fourth place overall and winning the day two final.

His Recent Years

In 2019, Sanderson won the prestigious Camp Perry National Pistol Champion title. Furthermore, he was named the Rapid Fire National Champion in 2019, showcasing his consistent success in the field of shooting.

However, in 2021, Sanderson faced a setback when USA Shooting suspended him indefinitely for 17 violations of the Athlete Code of Conduct and seven violations of the SafeSport policy. As a result, he did not compete in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, having been previously suspended indefinitely by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

Bouncing back in 2022, Sanderson won the Pistol National Championships with a Gold Medal in the Men’s 25M Rapid Fire Pistol event.