August 20th, 2016

U.S.A. Shooting’s Women Bring Home Medals

Ginny Thrasher Gold Medal Rio Olympic Games 10m Air Rifle

The Rio Olympics shooting competition has ended, and USA Shooting Team’s medalists are all women. Ginny Thrasher of Virginia got the USA medal count off to a great start by winning the first gold medal of the 2016 Olympic games in Women’s Air Rifle, and Corey Cogdell-Unrein repeated as bronze medalist in Women’s Trap. By winning a bronze medal in skeet last Friday, 37-year-old Kim Rhode became the first female and summer Olympian ever to win medals in six consecutive Olympic Games. Read coverage in the LA Times, USA Today and Associated Press. Kim Rhode’s Olympic Odyssey.

Shooting Sports USA profiled Ginny Thrasher, winner of the very first Gold Medal awarded at the Rio Olympic games:

Ginny Thrasher Gold Medal Rio Olympic Games 10m Air Rifle

For 36 hours, Thrasher was the face of Team USA as the lone gold medalist, winning the first medal of the 2016 Olympic Games. The 19-year-old WVU sophomore was propelled into the media spotlight…

Thrasher explained how she coped with the pressures of competing in the most important sporting event on earth:

“I think this competition is one where you can mentally out-think yourself, and that’s the danger. For me, just being very focused. During the match I started out with some struggles, and I had to come off the line and my Olympic coach down there said, ‘Ginny, all you can do is shoot the best you can.’ I got back on the line, and that’s what I did. I shot the best that I could. I had a very bad hold, but it didn’t matter. Once I got into the final, I was very much focused on my breathing, and that was the point where all the training and all the discipline just came through for me. All I did was focus on my breathing and let my body do what it knew how to do.”

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June 28th, 2016

Olympics-Bound Ginny Thrasher Wins National Air Rifle Title

Virginia “Ginny” Thrasher, who will compete in the Rio Olympics this summer, showed continued dominance of her sport by winning the women’s national Air Rifle title last week at Fort Benning, Georgia, home of the USAMU. Mindy has been on fire in recent months. In April she won the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Smallbore Rifle, securing a spot at the Rio Olympics. Prior to that, Ginny won individual NCAA titles in both air rifle and smallbore — as a freshman! This girl is a genuine phenom…

Thrasher, a member of the West Virginia University Mountaineers, has been on a tear of late. After winning the the Olympic Trials in Three-Position Rifle in April, she then earned two finals appearances at the Munich World Cup in May. Prior to that, Ginny’s sharpshooting earned her individual NCAA titles in air rifle and smallbore. With those performances, the talented freshman led West Virginia University to the collegiate team title and was named Top Performer of the 2016 NCAA Shooting Championship.

Her WVU coach, Jon Hammond, said Ginny has had an amazing run to Rio: “It’s an unbelievable freshman year to win NCAA championships and qualify for the Olympics. I would hazard she’s probably going to be one of the youngest members of the U.S. shooting team at the Olympics.”

Thrasher earned her way onto the national team with a stellar performance at the 2015 U.S. championships, where she won five medals, three in junior competition and two in open competition. That performance propelled her into her freshman season at West Virginia University.

This year’s USA Shooting National Championships includes more than 300 athletes vying for National Team selections and the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Other shooters attending this year’s Nationals are looking ahead to the next Olympic Games — Tokyo 2020.

Mindy Miles (Weatherford, Texas) finished second at Nationals behind Thrasher in the women’s Air Rifle Event. Thrasher’s Team USA teammate at the Rio Olympics, Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Massachusetts), won the Final to finish third overall.

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