Whoever said no good could come from shooting an air rifle? Winning a gold medal for one thing as American teenager Ginny Thrasher proved in Rio.
Thrasher became the first US gold medal winner at the Rio Olympics last week, pulling off an upset win in a sport that many people didn’t even know existed: competitive air rifle. Thrasher herself didn’t even know it was a sport until she went to high school, but the first time she shot a rifle through a target, she said she fell in love.
The West Virginia University student competed on her rifle team in high school and in World Cup competitions in college with her best being fourth place, so she was not expected to win the event in Rio. Her gold medal round of 208 actually set an Olympic record.
“I think I knew it was realistic for me to make finals, but I was not focused on that,” she told USA Today. “I was focusing on just shooting the best that I could, and that got me there.”
In addition to winning the 10 meter event, Thrasher competes today in the three-position event.
Photo credit: NBC Olympics