Shooting at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020: Everything You Need to Know


Paralympic Shooting made its debut at the Paralympic Games in 1976 after a successful demonstration at the prior Games in Stoke Mandeville, Great Britian in 1972.  

The sport’s debut came with 14 participating countries and only three medal events. Today, more than 65 countries participate in Paralympic Shooting. In the Tokyo Paralympic Games 13 events will be contested, 9 rifle events and 4 pistol events. Of the 13 events 8 are mixed gender, meaning men and women compete side by side.  

The course of fire for Paralympic events is similar to events in Olympic shooting and finals are conducted just as they are in the Olympic events. 

Paralympic Shooting is divided into nine rifle and four pistol events, using both airguns and .22 caliber. The rules governing Paralympic competition are those used by World Shooting Para Sport. Those rules take into account the differences that exist between disabilities allowing ambulant and wheelchair athletes to compete shoulder to shoulder. Paralympic shooting competition is open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as amputation/limb loss, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke. 



  A classification system is used to group athletes into competitive groups determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus. 

Depending on the existing limitations (degree of body trunk functionality, balance while seating, muscle strength, mobility of both upper and lower limbs), and on the skills that are necessary in Shooting, athletes are divided into three classes:  

There are two classifications for Paralympic shooters: SH1 pistol/rifle and SH2, which are broken down as follows: 

  • SH1 rifle identifies athletes who do not need support for the gun. 

  • SH1 pistol athletes may have upper and lower limb impairments. There is no additional support for the pistol. 

  • SH2 rifle athletes need support for the gun via use of a shooting stand and may require a loader. A loader is a person who loads the pellets or ammo into the rifle for the athletes during competition. 

Within these classifications, things such as the stiffness of the spring used in a shooting stand, to the height of the back of a wheelchair used in competition are regulated and determined by classification.  


Medal Count:

The United States Paralympic Shooting Team has won 5 Paralympic medals, 1 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze.  

The 1984 Paralympic Games held in Stoke Mandeville/New York is the U.S. Paralympic Shooting Teams most successful games. Roger Withrow earned the first and only gold medal for the US in shooting in Men’s Air Rifle Prone. West Brownlow won a pair of bronze medals in Men’s Air Pistol and Air Rifle Kneeling. Daniel Jordan won a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games in the Men’s 3 Position (R7) event. McKenna (Dahl) Geer is the US Team's most recent Paralympic medalist. Geer captured the bronze medal in Mixed Air Rifle Prone SH2 (R5) in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. 



This year, USA Shooting has seven athletes representing Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The field includes three, two-time Paralympians, McKenna Geer, Jazmin Almlie-Ryan, and John Joss as well as four Paralympic debuts from YanXiao Gong, Taylor Farmer, Kevin Nguyen, and Stetson Bardfield. Full bios can be found on the USA Shooting website ( 


Who to Watch: 

Geer, the 2016 Rio Bronze Medalist is the first woman to win a Paralympic Shooting Medal for Team USA and looks to capture another medal in Tokyo. Gong, just three months prior to his first Paralympic Games, captured three individual World Cup Medals at 2021 World Cup Lima, he’s the only pistol Paralympian for Team USA at these games.  


Tokyo 2020 Schedule:  


Fun Facts:  

One of the events unique to Paralympic competition is Air Rifle Prone. Though athletes will not lay on the ground in the traditional prone position, they are able to rest their elbows on a shooting table while shooting. 

Paralympic Three-Position Rifle events are contested with one elbow supported for the kneeling position, and two elbows supported for the prone position.