“Aiming High,” Ensign, Dec. 1996, 54–55
“My most meaningful Olympic memory,” says skeet shooter Bill Roy, “was hearing my daughters shout ‘Go, Dad, you can do it!’” Over the past 10 years, Brother Roy has won more than 40 medals at national and world competitions. As the 1996 Summer Olympics began, he was considered the United States shooting team’s top contender for a gold medal in the skeet competition.
Shouldering a bright-blue 12-gauge shotgun, Brother Roy shot at a total of 125 clay targets over two days. Released at various angles and sometimes two at a time, the “birds” were only four inches wide and one inch high and traveled as fast as 55 miles per hour. Steady rain fell during both days of the match, but Brother Roy performed well, hitting 121 of the 125 targets. Although his ninth-place finish was the highest for the U.S. shooters, he was one target short of making the shoot-off for the final qualifying spot in the Olympic medal competition.
“I’m disappointed I didn’t win a medal,” Brother Roy says, “but I’m proud of my effort and pleased with the final score. I’ve always approached the sport from the standpoint of a journey, not a destination. The journey that got me to the Olympics was a wild and wonderful ride, a phenomenal faith-building experience. I’m honored just to have been there.”
A major in the United States Air Force, Brother Roy has logged more than 1,500 hours as a fighter pilot. He taught English at the Air Force Academy, and in 1991 he was named Armed Forces Athlete of the Year. Members of the Alamogordo Second Ward, Las Cruces New Mexico Stake, he and his wife, Vickie, have five daughters. Brother Roy serves as Young Men president in his ward.
“I want to redirect all the time and effort it takes to be a world-class shooter to working with my own kids and other kids,” he says. “I want to give them the message that if they have a dream, they can accomplish great things.”—Reneé Harding, Midland, Michigan