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Archers across the nation can agree that archery brings people together as a family - the community spirit in our sport is tremendous. One man who embodied a love for the "archery family" with incredible passion was Christopher Hartzog Clamon.
Hartzog, a member of the USA Archery Board of Justice and father of greatly talented archer Lauren Clamon, passed away earlier this month. "For all of us who knew Hartzog, there are no words to describe the sadness and the pain. His love of life and kind heart will always be remembered.
"Hartzog would not want us to mourn his death. Instead, he would want us to celebrate his life, and, in his words: love with abandon, laugh easily and often, and practice kindness and compassion at every opportunity," shared Geovanna Soler.
Women's head coach Guy Kruger added: "Hartzog was a dear friend to all of us here at the Olympic Training Center. Hartzog was full of joy and really enjoyed people, and he brought that joy and love for people with him as a parent, coach, and supporter of archery. We were very blessed to have him as a member of our archery family here in Chula Vista and his contributions in time, love, and support are immeasurable."
"Hartzog had a contagious sense of enthusiasm that made him the ultimate encourager, motivator and friend to everyone," remembered Holly Stover, a long time family friend. "If you knew Hartzog there was nothing he loved more than being a dad and husband. He did an epic job of it, because he was always there for his kids, Lauren and John. Along the way he picked up a few of the resident athletes as his kids too.
"He would always come in to practice just to watch and spend time with his daughter. There were late nights where we joined him and Lauren at the training room past 11pm to cheer her on during the 1000 arrow challenge after Lauren completed a full day at school.
"When we were away from home on holidays the Clamon family always had a place for us, and there was always pie! Hartzog was a southern boy at heart, he loved his bbq and pie. They say everything is bigger in Texas and I believe his heart was too.
"His outlook on parenting has impacted my coaching, Hartzog embraced being different, loving a sport that attracted such a wide range of people. He made the range instantly feel at home, cracking jokes when you needed a laugh, and offering hugs and encouragement when needed. He reminded us that while we were serious about our training that it was supposed to be fun."
Michelle Gilbert, an archer at Texas A&M University, Mr. Clamon's alma mater, shared that he encouraged her to continue involvement in archery while pursuing her degree. Knowing that he and his wife spoke highly of the school became the greatest testament to the university and it's values: "I valued his opinion because I admired his intelligence, positive attitude, and the priorities he took in his life. Mr. Clamon will always have my gratitude for his support and respect for setting a great example for me."
Hartzog's archery family extends very far and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. USA Archery is forever grateful for the awesome effect Hartzog had on our sport and our archers. As Holly shared: "He may not be right behind the shooters but there's no doubt in my mind that his contagious passion and enthusiasm for the sport will continue to spread due to all the people in the archery community he has touched."
Photo by German Alcibia.
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