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PITT Christopher
Sport Shooting Para sport
NPC Australia   
GenderMen
Age57
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SH1
Further Personal Information
Residence
Bundaberg, QLD, AUS
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began shooting in 2010. "I grew up on a cane farm and there was always a rifle on the farm, so I wasn't afraid of guns. I did join a club when I was in high school for two years but went away from it."
Why this sport?
His friends encouraged him to get involved in shooting and he was then inspired to pursue the sport after watching Australian Para athlete Rheed McCracken winning medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. "They [his friends] nagged me and nagged me to come and try and, eventually after a month, I gave in and went out to the range with them. I was instantly hooked. When I watched Rheed at the 2012 Paralympics, that's when I thought if a 15-year-old kid can go all around the world and do what he's doing, I need to man up a bit and have a go at this. That's when the penny dropped."
Club / Team
Bundaberg Pistol Club [AUS] / Childers Rifle and Pistol Club [AUS]:
Training Regime
"My training involves a lot of dry fire holding exercises and I am working on a lot more visualisation to remember the shooting of shooting."
Senior International Debut
Year
2013
Competing for
Australia
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Szczecin, POL
General Interest
Nicknames
Chris, Pitty (Facebook profile, 16 Jan 2017)
Hobbies
Muscle cars, fishing. (Facebook profile, 16 Jan 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Competing at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (shootingaustralia.org, 03 Sep 2020)
Most influential person in career
His mother. (Shooting Australia Facebook page, 02 Sep 2021)
Hero / Idol
Australian shooting Para sport athletes Ashley Adams and Elizabeth Kosmala. (paralympic.org.au, 01 Oct 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The concentration and the focus is absolutely ridiculous with shooting, it is 90% mental and 10% physical. If you think of the wrong thing for even a millisecond, that is enough to spoil your next shot and if you are the type of person who gets in your head too much, it can be detrimental to the result." (bundabergnow.com, 01 Mar 2020)
Awards and honours
In 2016 and 2017 he was named Para Shooter of the Year by Shooting Australia. (shootingaustralia.org, 2018)
Impairment
At age 10 he developed dermatomyositis, a rare disease that causes muscle inflammation and skin rash. It resulted in him losing the use of his legs at age 12. "I have vivid memories of being sick, those things just stick in your head. I try not to think about it, it's in the past and I can't change it. I was lucky, I had 10 years of a great childhood, I still remember all the things I used to do, I remember the feeling of running on the beach and playing football. [Shooting] is something I can do by myself without assistance from anyone, I like fishing and boating but need someone with me for that. Shooting allows me to chill out and that's why I get enjoyment from it." (paralympic.org.au, 31 Aug 2021, 01 Jan 2020; news-mail.com.au, 28 Jul 2011)
Other information
TONGUE CANCER
In late 2020 he was diagnosed with tongue cancer and required to have surgery. "The end of last year [speaking in 2021] I was diagnosed with tongue cancer and had to have 14 hours of surgery, half my tongue removed and they did a graph to my leg and put that in. I then had to go through six weeks of radiation which finished at the end of January [2021], so between not having competitions and undergoing surgery it has been a big year. I have only been able to do decent training from around May. I was that weak when I got out that I couldn't even hold a pistol let alone shoot it. One of my strong motivations to beat the cancer was the thought of being able to compete again as part of the Paralympian team in Tokyo." (paralympic.org.au, 31 Aug 2021, 30 Aug 2021; Shooting Australia Facebook page, 30 Aug 2021; heraldsun.com.au, 28 Aug 2021; bundabergnow.com, 24 Jul 2021; bundabergtoday.com.au, 23 Jul 2021)

CARER
He has served as a full-time carer for his mother. "I know I have given mum a few grey hairs over the years [speaking in 2021] but she is very proud, as is my sister. She looked after me for all those years and now I am looking after her, so it's gone a full circle." (paralympic.org.au, 31 Aug 2021)

RIO EXPERIENCE
After making his Paralympic debut at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, he decided to take a brief break from the sport following the Games. He returned to training in January 2017. "Rio was an awesome experience. Straight away I decided I'll have another go at this. I thought it was unbelievable, especially going into that stadium for the opening ceremony. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I'll never forget that one. Competing at my first Games at that stage of my life is a pretty good achievement. After Rio, I decided to spend more time fishing with my brother. I also had a friend from Poland come over and we spent New Year's on the Gold Coast and did skydiving." (shootingaustralia.org, 03 Sep 2020; seniorsnews.com.au, 16 Feb 2017, 12 Sep 2016)

EARLY DAYS
During a competition in 2012, Australian pistol shooter Peter Heuke told him that he could go further with the sport. After this, Pitt sold his fishing boat to fund his attempt to make a career in shooting Para sport. "He [Heuke] took me out the back of the range and said, 'Do you know what you have just done?' I said, 'I shot a pretty good score I think'. He said, 'You don't realise that you have just opened up a whole world of possibility'. I said, 'What are you talking about?' He said, 'That's a very competitive score and you have the ability to go as far as you want'. Then I started to think and started to investigate scores at World Cups, and I thought I can do this, but I can't afford to do the domestic travels - the competitions I had to do. So, I chewed on it for nearly nine months and I decided to have a go. So, I sold my little tinny [aluminium boat]. I got four grand for it. It got me two trips to Sydney and a case of ammo." (heraldsun.com.au, 28 Aug 2021; shootingaustralia.org, 03 Sep 2020)

TRAVELLING
He says the long-distance travel aspect of the sport is challenging for him, but that with experience he has become more accustomed to it. "Without shooting, I would have been lucky to actually leave the state. Shooting has opened up a whole world to me. I think about it all the time what it has given me. I still dislike the long-distance travel, but I now know what to expect and I tolerate it a lot more. It is very tiring and uncomfortable." (shootingaustralia.org, 03 Sep 2020)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
Qualification 2016 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 557
4 2016 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 3
25 2021 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 542
25 2021 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 542
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
44 2014 MP1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 538
11 2014 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 560
17 2018 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 552
41 2018 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 541
18 2019 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 557
26 2019 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 554
World Cup (Szczecin)
Rank Year Event Result
10 2015 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 543.0
10 2015 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 561
42 2015 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 536.0
10 2015 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 554
13 2015 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 547
16 2015 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 545
33 2015 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 543
7 2016 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 7
14 2016 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 543
8 2016 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 5
10 2016 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 553
7 2017 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 5
5 2017 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 172.9
3 2017 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 21
15 2017 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 546
1 2017 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 23
9 2017 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 554
5 2018 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 12
16 2018 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 553
31 2018 P4 - 50m Pistol SH1 482
3 2018 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 18
15 2018 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 553
10 2019 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 560
14 2019 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 558
5 2019 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 9
20 2019 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 547
13 2022 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 549
24 2022 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 548
11 2022 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1 538
17 2022 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1 540
World Ranking (2018/01/01)
Rank Year Event Result
22 2018 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1  
1 2018 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1  
29 2018 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1  
3 2018 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1  
29 2018 P1 - 10m Air Pistol SH1  
3 2018 P3 - 25m Pistol SH1