Every four years, Shooting emerges from the shadows and takes its place among the 28 sports fighting for the attention of billions. Misunderstood, under-recognized and somewhat ill-perceived, USA Shooting’s top stars clamor for their rightful place among the attention-grabbing headliners of Team USA.
2016 Olympic Games
The U.S. Olympic Shooting Team left Rio having secured three prized possessions courtesy of a sport-defining Ginny Thrasher gold in Women’s Air Rifle, a repeat bronze for Corey Cogdell-Unrein in Women’s Trap and a most-historic bronze for Kim Rhode in Women’s Skeet.
For 36 hours, Thrasher was the face of Team USA as the lone gold medalist, winning the first medal of the 2016 Olympic Games. That fact propelled her into the media spotlight while the subsequent reveal of her personality and grace made her a star. Cogdell-Unrein became a powerful representation for females everywhere given her battle to get back on the podium and then by the subsequent headline misfortune giving more credit to her husband, Mitch, than the athlete actually earning the medal. She’s handled both results with dignity and class. And Rhode did nothing more than add to an Olympic legacy almost unfathomable already by earning a sixth straight individual Olympic medal becoming the first Summer Olympian ever to do so. Already an idol among shooting fans young and old alike, she’s now a sensation for all Olympic dreamers.
Add to that Finals appearances for Sarah Scherer in her Olympic departure and for Morgan Craft in her Olympic arrival. The strength of U.S. women fully on display for the world to recognize with this being the first time since 1984 that three women were able to step on the podium for Team USA. The significance of which can’t be understated as the idea to Shoot Like A Girl will forever resonate as a result of the power shown by these U.S. women.
These Games proved once again that the rest of the world is really good at shooting too. China and Italy led the overall medal totals with seven apiece, while Italy did so with flair in earning a Games-high four gold. Germany showcased its strength in winning three gold medals and four overall too. All told, 19 countries, including two from IOC-sanctioned Kuwait that was competing under the IOA flag, earned medals in shooting. That total was the highest amount of countries earning a medal in any one sport besides judo as of Sunday afternoon. Swimming and taekwondo each had 18 countries earn medals.
Past Olympic Games