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GLIN==> US Fish & Wildlife Service Region 3 Great Lakes-Big Rivers Refuge ManagerJohn Magera on US Olympic Team

Richard Greenwood
    USFWS Liaison to USEPA Great Lakes National Program Office
    Team Leader Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Team
Great Lakes National Program Office
77 West Jackson Blvd. (G-17J)
Chicago, IL 60604
Ph:  312-886-3853  Fax:  312-353-2018
Email:  rich_greenwood@fws.gov or greenwood.richard@epa.gov

(Embedded image moved to file: pic13286.jpg)

     Region 3 Refuge Manager John Magera on U.S. Olympic Archery Team
 13 Year Service Veteran is the "New Guy" on the Block in Olympic Archery

Add "Olympian" next to John Magera's title of Refuge Manager at Region 3's
Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge in southern Illinois.  A
little more than a year after competing in his first bow tournament,
Magera, 34, is representing the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics
as a member of the U.S. Olympic Archery Team.

Magera earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team after finishing third at the
Olympic Archery Team Trials held June 15-19 in Mason, Ohio.  Magera's
surprising finish was a big surprise to himself and to the established
ranks of the U.S. archery community, who watched a relative novice
out-shoot numerous world-ranked archers, including three former Olympians.
"My only goal was to get into the top 16 and if I did that, I would've been
completely happy going home," said Magera. "In the back of my mind, I
thought I might be able to make the top eight, but never expected this."

Less than a month after the Olympic trials, Magera was off to Europe where
his achievement did sink in. In his first-ever international competition,
he tied for 28th place out of 107 archers at the European Grand Prix in
Antalya, Turkey July 13-17.  "It was a great experience, even though I
didn't do as well as I had hoped I would. But my coach and team mates said
I did pretty darn good for my first time in an international competition."

Magera arrived in Athens August 4. While competing, he hopes to sport a
small (2.5 inch by 4.5 inch) Blue Goose patch on his chest protector, and
most likely any other place he can find to sew one.  "I've worked for the
Fish and Wildlife Service and the Refuge System ever since I was in college
and if you cut me, I'd probably bleed blue," Magera said. "I thought the
Olympics would be a great place to promote our National Wildlife Refuges.
The Blue Goose is going to Athens as my personal logo."  The 13-year USFWS
veteran is also carrying his refuge's Blue Goose Centennial flag with him
to Athens. "It hangs in my room over my bed, a little piece of home, if you
will, " he added.  He's also posted the National Wildlife Refuge System
visitors guide map of U.S. refuges in the  living area of his Athens

John's wife Karin, a Park Ranger at Crab Orchard NWR near Marion, Ill., and
John's mother Deanna Stocker of Lubbuck, Texas, will travel to Athens
August 17 to watch John compete.  "I knew John was certainly capable of
doing well in tournaments, but to be doing well enough to compete in the
Olympics is great," said Karin "We're going to have a little cheering
section for him."

Since being named to the Olympic team, the Mageras have been embraced by
residents of the southern Illinois communities that are home to the Middle
Mississippi River and Crab Orchard Refuges.  Carterville, Ill., realtor and
John's hunting partner Mark Krones is leading a community effort to raise
money to send Karin and John's mother to Athens.  According to Krones, more
than $5,000 has been raised so far, with pledges for another $1,000. John's
experiences in Athens are being reported almost daily in the Southern
Illinoisan newspaper (www.southernillinoisan.com).

The 2004 Summer Olympics begin August 13. Archery competition runs from
August 15-21.  NBC television and other cable networks will broadcast some
archery events during the games. The Men's Individual Gold Medal final is
scheduled for broadcast some time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on MSNBC
August 19. BRAVO cable network will carry the Men's Gold Medal final
between midnight and 1 a.m. Aug. 20.

With a little luck, calm winds and a keen aim, Magera could be adding
"Olympic medalist" to his growing list of titles.

Cheer John on to victory!  Send him an email
You can send John an email with your words of encouragement at:
johnmagera@msn.com  He may not be able to answer all emails, but says he
welcomes notes from all fellow USFWS employees.

Media/broadcast coverage of the Olympics
The NBC Olympic website has schedules, profiles and up to the minute
results for the Summer Olympics.  You can read more about John Magera and
the archery team at the following links:

Archery: What to watch in Athens
"The New Guy" (John Magera w/photo and bio)

Archery competition results and schedule (local Athens time- not all