Athletes compete in the Women's Sport Pistol Final Thursday from Fort Benning, Georgia. Two of the competitors, including eventual gold medalist Maria Grozdeva, had to borrow pistols from Vladimir Chichkov to compete in World Cup USA.One thing that shooting sports enthusiasts value about their sport is the sense of community and the family-like bonds that make a day at the range seem like a family reunion. Proof of such has certainly been on full display this week during the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup taking place in Fort Benning, Georgia. 

At a match featuring 350 competitors from 53 different countries, you expect a few hiccups.  When athletes arrive without their guns to a shooting competition then you have problems.  But after seven countries encountered such fate upon arrival into the United States, friends came to their aid so athletes could shoot the match and, like what happened Thursday, also earn a coveted World Cup gold medal in the process.

The biggest show of friendship has been from long-time USA Shooting coach Vladimir Chichkov, whose compassion for the sport and for the athletes has been further revealed this week by his outpouring of support to athletes in need. The majority of athletes competing in Women’s Sport Pistol and Rapid Fire Pistol already shoot Pardini pistols, for which Chichkov is an American supplier of the showcase competition guns. So, his decision to help had nothing to do with business and everything to do with being human.

Pardini was founded in the early 1980s by Giampiero Pardini, one of the most prominent marksmen in Italian target shooting. Big-hearted by nature, Chichkov has long stood out for his passion for Olympic-style pistol shooting and his willingness to sacrifice profit to do what was right for the sport he loves and the athletes he supports. It’s the Pardini way sealed with a Chichkov sense of duty.    

Thus, when pistol athletes show up to a World

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