Matthew Emmons’ love life is far less dramatic than his Olympic career. In the 2004 Athens Games, the American shooter won a gold medal in the 50-m rifle prone using a borrowed rifle after discovering that his own had been sabotaged in the locker room. He was not so lucky in the 50-m rifle three-positions competition, when he dropped from first to eighth place after cross-firing on his last shot.
But heartbreak soon led to love when Czech sport shooter Katerina Kurkova consoled him at a bar shortly after his defeat.
“The way he handled that loss seemed very cool to me,” Katerina told TIME in 2008. “And I’m not blind. He’s pretty cute.”
The couple wed in the Czech Republic in 2007, and Katerina took her husband’s last name.
Even cupid’s arrow couldn’t cure Matthew from his Olympic curse. At the 2008 Beijing Games, he won the silver medal in the 50-m rifle prone but again lost the lead in the three-positions competition and finished in fourth place. Katerina, who was a commenter for Czech TV at the time, was speechless.
Following that loss, Matthew said, “Things happen for a reason. I said that last time, and it’s the truth. Maybe last time, the reason was Katy. This time I don’t know yet, but I’m sure something good’s going to come from it.”
Matthew will try for the gold a third time in London. Whether or not he wins, he will have his biggest fan by his side once again.