Get to Know: Paralympic Rifle Shooter McKenna Dahl

McKenna Dahl (Arlington, Washington) declared in 2012 during her time as an NRA Junior Ambassador – before she was a resident athlete, before she was on the National Paralympic Shooting Team - that she would eventually make the 2016 Paralympic Team. As planned - McKenna made it happen.

 “It’s a huge honor to be a part of Team USA and to represent the United States on the world stage,” she said.  “I’ve been shooting for six plus years and this has been my biggest goal as a 20-year-old. It means the world to go the Paralympics and represent the USA down in Rio.”

The International Paralympic Committee named her one of the “Top 10 Para-Athletes You Should Like Before 2016” noting “expect her to be huge come Rio 2016.” That's tall billing for the youngest member of the U.S. Paralympic Shooting Team who also became the first woman to earn a Paralympic shooting quota for the United States when she qualified at the 2014 IPC Shooting World Championship. Following her breakout year, Dahl had been working through equipment issues in 2015, but feels she’s worked them out earlier this year and is on track for strong performances in Rio. In three of the 2016 IPC Shooting World Cups, Dahl made appearances in the Finals for R4 (Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH2) and R5 (Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH2).

“I’ve been focusing mostly on Prone - the most supported position, and making sure I feel comfortable. I’ve been working on speed drills and shot calling and really getting that little bit of focus… In standing, I’ve had a bad habit of over holding a lot so I’ve been working on speeding up my standing process, in addition to just fine tuning my position.”

In 2014, Dahl moved to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, only a week after graduating from Lakewood High School with two years of college credit under her belt. She is completing a degree in Business and Technical Management with specialization in Criminal Justice, and hopes to attend law school one day. 

Dahl was born with amyoplasia arthrogryposis in her left hand and both of her feet, causing her muscles not to form properly. 

McKenna Dahl will compete in R4 on September 10 and R5 on September 13 at the Parlaympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Follow livestreams online of the events here:

Read Dahl’s bio

*Photo courtesy of SADTMaj.Gen.Osoth Bhavilai

Categories: Press Releases