Nineteen-year-old Olympic champion and area native son Vincent Hancock will be honored by the U.S. Postal Service Friday when the Eatonton Post Office releases a commemorative envelope with his likeness on the cover.

Earlier this year, Hancock competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, taking home a gold medal for the U.S. team.

At 10 a.m. Friday at the Lake Oconee Shooting Club, 631 Sparta Highway in Eatonton, the U.S. Postal Service in Eatonton will issue an envelope commemorating and celebrating Hancock’s achievements.

Originally born March 19, 1989 in Port Charlotte, Fla., Hancock has been involved with skeet shooting and receiving recognition for his talents for at least three years, according to the Web site

That site lists Hancock’s gold medal for 2008, and also lists him taking 4th place in Men’s Skeet for the Beijing World Cup (Olympic Test Event) and 1st place qualifying in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials (Shotgun).

Hancock also won gold in the 2007 Pan American Games, received a top spot in the World Clay Target Championships for 2007, and was the 2005 USA Shooting Male Athlete of the Year, according to the site.

Because of Hancock’s achievements in the Olympics, it was decided that the U.S. Post Office branch in Eatonton, where Hancock calls home, would release a limited-edition commemorative cachet, a custom envelope that “honors a historical event and/or person with their likeness on the envelope,” according to a press release issued by Eatonton Postmaster Jerry Herringdine.

“Shortly after the Olympics, I received a call from one of his former childhood baseball coaches, who also happened to be a postal employee,” Herringdine explained. “All of this started in September. It’s been a three-and-a-half month process.”

Hancock began competing professionally at age 11 — winning his first world championship in men’s skeet at the age of 16 in 2005, according to

“This is the only way we can honor the community or an individual for the postal service,” Herringdine said. “This is to honor him [Hancock]. This is a first day cancellation, meaning it’s the first time this will be offered to the public.”

The envelope is a standard-sized letter envelope with four images of Hancock on the front with the words “World Record Holder - Skeet Shooting” and “2008 World Cup Suhl, Germany - Gold Medalist” below the images.

In addition, there is a custom-created stamp on the envelope featuring Hancock’s name and “Gold Medal Station” along with an image of a male skeet shooter nearby.

Friday’s event will feature a performance by the Georgia Military College High School Drill Team and Atlanta-based newscaster Sam Crenshaw of WXIA serving as master of ceremonies, according to Herringdine.

“There will probably be several hundred people. We’ll have a big blow up of the envelope on a big foam board that will be unveiled that morning. This envelope can only be sold at one office [Eatonton], but the announcement of its availability will be published nationwide,” Herringdine said.

There have already been special requests from Olympic and military enthusiasts regarding stamps or envelopes available from the Eatonton Post Office, according to Herringdine.

“We have a lot of people that send us envelopes from across the country, especially people who deal with collecting stamps from the Olympics and the military,” Herringdine said. “I’ve ordered 2,000 of the envelopes, and do not expect to have too many left. We will print more if those run out.”

Hancock, currently a private in the U.S. Army, is expected to be in attendance Friday and may even demonstrate skeet shooting for the crowd if conditions permit, according to Herringdine.

Friday’s event at Lake Oconee Shooting Club is free and open to the public. For more information contact Jerry Herringdine at (706) 485-5636.

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