100 Days of Kansas City-area Olympians: Fred Etchen, shooting

Fred Etchen for web.jpg
Posted at 8:00 AM, Apr 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-17 09:00:58-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Fred Etchen was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, in 1884 and went on to become one of the greatest trapshooters in U.S. history.

Etchen was inducted into the Trapshooting Hall of Fame in 1979, having captained the U.S. trapshooting team to the gold medal during the 1924 Paris Olympics.

But his exploits went far beyond that.

He won 17 Kansas state shooting championships between 1925 and 1939, including three in singles and six all-around titles.

During the run-up to the 1924 Olympics, he also won the British Open Trapshoot with a perfect score and two years later won the International Live Bird Champion of the World title.

He tied for first during the 1927 world championships and also won the 1938 doubles title at the Grand American, where he captured numerous trophies between 1920 and 1945.

Etchen later moved to Florida, where he won five more state titles.

He also authored “How To Be an Expert at Shotgun Shooting” and helped form the Amateur Trapshooting Association, traveling the country to teach shooting after retiring from the automotive business.

The Kansas City region has a deep, rich history with respect to the Olympic Games. As the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games approach with the Opening Ceremony scheduled for July 23, we will profile an athlete with ties to Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas each day.

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