ALL THAT JAZ! -- Getting to know Paralympic Rifle Shooter Jazmin Almlie-Ryan

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (August 31, 2016)

There’s never been a match in which Jazmin Almlie-Ryan (Houston, Texas) feels as relaxed and more prepared for as these Paralympic Games.  Win a medal like she’s shown she is capable of, and it will be just “icing on the cake” she says.

“The shooting is there,” Almlie-Ryan admitted prior to her departure to Rio. “I have the ability to shoot just fine.  Now, it’s all about keeping my mind straight and being confident under pressure.  I want to go to Rio, like it’s an everyday thing.  If I go and shoot what I normally shoot, I’m going to be just fine.  All the other events were dress rehearsals for this particular moment.  I’ve already got two great things given to me over the last year in a child and a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Team. Winning is icing on the cake.  If I don’t earn a medal, is that any less of an accomplishment?  It’s still going to be the best year of my entire life.”

She’ll have a decoupage plastered upon her shooting table to remind her of just that.  Adorning that table are pictures of her daughter, Rebekah, husband, Matt, and her family along with some gold medal pictures of her previous accomplishments in the sport. Looking down at the pictures will be a perfect tension release during an otherwise tense match.

“The pictures are when I’m at my most vulnerable time and have the most anxiety and to be able to take a breath and look down at smiling faces from the people that love you and support you unconditionally. There’s no way you can’t get some sort of relaxation from that.  It’s a reminder that there’s something bigger out there than shooting.”

That very something is family, and the birth of daughter Rebekah on July 22, 2015 just reinforced that.  

To read more about the significance of being a mom and the role that plays on her life and as a shooter, please read the USA Shooting profile:  A Rifle, a Baby and a Dream Come True

 Since she was 18, Jazmin has battled progressive spastic myelopathy that started in her lower back, forced her into a wheelchair when she was 22, and now has progressed into her cervical spine area affecting her hands, wrist and arms.

She credits shooting and adaptive sports with changing her life and she’s fully aware of the incredible honor she has as a member of the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team. 

“The fact that I get to represent my country, that in itself is a huge honor.  The honor is even greater knowing I can be an example for all the other people out there with disabilities who may be struggling, or who may be trying to find what they’re going to do in life.  Goodness knows I was in that very same situation, so for them to be able to turn on the television and see what it is that we do can be life changing.  I know for me, adaptive sport transformed my life.  I didn’t know what I was going to be able to do until I found it.  To be able to influence someone else in that same situation is an amazing opportunity.”

Jaz competes Saturday, September 10 in the SH2 10m Air Rifle Standing (R4) event followed by the SH2 10m Air Rifle Prone (R5) Tuesday, September 13. 

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