Most Americans aren’t aware of it, because the D/S/C media somehow fails to report on this sort of thing, but Americans generally do very well at the Olympics in shooting. We have something of a cultural tradition at that. And so it is thus far at the 2021 Woke Olympiad, courtesy of NRA Shooting Illustrated:
William Shaner captured the first Olympic medal ever claimed by the United States in Men’s Air Rifle. He did it in style, too, claiming gold in his first Olympics.
The University of Kentucky student told the Outdoor Wire, “
It feels amazing. I’m only 20, but I’ve been doing this since I was eight. I’ve been doing this a long time, so I’ve been able to get a good score and progress. To finally achieve what I came here to do is amazing.
These are sports where the difference between winning and losing can be a single shot. Shaner’s score of 251.6 seat a new Olympic record. Not bad for a 20 year old. But veteran shooters can win too:
Vincent Hancock won his third Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. He also became the first man in history to earn three golds in Men’s Skeet.
His drop to the ground immediately after the winning shot was widely thought to be an early celebration but, in reality, it was an effort to relieve the back pain he endured through the latter matches. ‘Just coming out here and trying to compete for a gold medal, it’s exhausting,’ Hancock told a reporter for USA Today. ‘It truly is. Not everybody’s able to come out here and compete at the level that they want, so you never know.’
Skeet shooting requires a great deal of rotation from the hips up, so Hancock’s back pain is no surprise. He cowboyed up and won. One of the great things about the shooting sports is women can excel:
Colorado Springs, CO, native Amber English claimed gold in Women’s Skeet. Her final score of 56 hits also set a new Olympic record.
English’s road to the Olympics was a challenge, though. She failed to make the U.S. team in 2012. It didn’t work out in 2016, either, and on the heels of that disappointment her father—also an accomplished shooter—died. She found it hard to get back on the firing line for a time, joined the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, and after encouragement and support from Hancock has roared into Olympic-winning form.
English, 31, is a 1st Lt. in the Army, servicing with the Army Marksmanship unit. We can be certain this kind of accomplishment–patriotism, the military and shooting–will make D/S/Cs heads explode.
But not everything is bad, and here are three Olympic athletes who are not spitting on the flag and insulting all Americans. They’re not obsessed with gender, race or hatred for their country. They focused on their sports and made us proud. Names to remember.