American Shooter Wins First Olympic Gold Of 2016 Games

posted on August 8, 2016

An American teenage air rifle shooter won the first gold medal awarded in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Saturday.

Virginia Thrasher, a 19-year-old sophomore at West Virginia University, won the 10-meter air rifle event, narrowly beating China’s Du Li, a former Olympic gold medalist, by just one point. "This is beyond my wildest dreams," Thrasher said. "I knew it was a realistic expectation for me to get into the finals and once you get into the finals, anything can happen. For me, this year has been incredible." 

Formerly a figure skater, Thrasher took up shooting just five years ago after going on a deer hunting trip with family members. “In the finals, about halfway through, it kind of became clear to me that I was in contention for a medal,” Thrasher said. “But I quickly pushed that thought away and focused on breathing, just taking one shot at a time.”

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