The Olympics are in full swing in Rio, and Team USA brought home their first gold early on. The first medal of the 2016 Olympics was also the USA’s first gold and went to 19-year-old Virginia Thrasher in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event. Not only did Thrasher get the gold she made a new record, outshooting more seasoned Olympian Du Li of China. Thrasher finished with a score of 208.0; Du Li finished with a score of 207.0. It’s worth noting she was up against experienced Olympians including Du Li – who took home the gold in 2004 – and Serbian Andrea Arsovic, who was ranked No.1 in the world but who failed to make it to the final round of the event.
This might be Thrasher’s first Olympics but she’s no stranger to the world of firearms, although she’s rather new having just started shooting 5 years ago. She told members of the media about hunting deer with her grandfather,USAF-veteran dad, and brothers, and how her first Whitetail kill back in her home state of Virginia led to an addiction to “pulling the trigger.” Apparently she’s not going to let her winning gold change her college plans, though. She’ll get back home right in time for her sophomore year to start at West Virginia University – right in time being 20 hours before her first class, that is. This isn’t her only chance at a medal, either. At this time her next event, women’s three-position rifle, hasn’t happened yet. That event takes place on August 11th.
Congratulations to Virginia Thrasher and to Team USA. Having a shooter bring the first gold medal of the 2016 Olympics to our country is just that much sweeter this year.
Photos below from various public news sources:
Take a look at her Olympic bio: http://www.usashooting.org/12-the-team/usashootingteam/nationalteam/nationalrifleteam/ginny-thrasher