Profile Briton Malcolm Cooper spent part of his youth in New Zealand as his father was stationed there with the Royal Navy. In New Zealand, he learned to shoot small bore rifles and attended Westlake Boys’ High School in Auckland which is well known for its sporting achievements.
Cooper began competing in shooting events in 1970 and became British Champion in three position small bore rifle shooting on 12 occasions between then and 1984. In the meantime, he had set up his own rifle manufacturing business, Accuracy International and his participation in international shooting events relied on the success of his business as he had no sponsor.
He won his first Olympic gold medal in 1984, equalling the world record score to win the three position small bore rifle competition. Four years later, he successfully defended his title in Seoul despite his rifle being damaged by a television crew who managed to knock it over. In between his two Olympic successes, Cooper won a World Championship gold for 300m standard rifle shooting.
In 1974, Cooper married Sarah Robinson, the British women’s shooting champion and they won a Commonwealth gold medal together in 1986, winning the small bore rifle three position pairs competition.
After retiring from the sport in 1991, Malcolm Cooper continued to develop his business and won the Queen’s Award for Export in 1998. His company’s biggest success was to supply the British Army with a sniper rifle unofficially known as the “Green Machine”. Cooper died from cancer in 2001, aged 53.