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.”