She wasn’t the favorite to win, but she came out on top.
The 2016 Rio Olympics had an amazing amount of both ups and downs in the first week of it airing. With endless amounts of surrounding controversy, both of the moral kind and that of internet trolling, it’s actually been hard to focus on the events at hand. That being said, athletic history continues to be made, and at the beginning of that was American athlete, Ginny Thrasher.
The 19-Year-Old Virginia “Ginny” Thrasher was the first person to take home a gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics this year on August 6th. Her competition was that of the 10-meter air rifle event that happened that Saturday morning. She beat out previous gold medalist, Yi Siling of China, who one the gold in this event back in the 2012 London Olympics, and she also beat out China’s Du Li, who previously won the gold in 2004 and in 2008, respectively. Yi took the bronze medal, and Du took home the silver in the event this year.
The 2016 Rio Olympics was Ginny Thrasher’s first Olympics ever, and actually, Thrasher’s initial hope was to make it to the Winter Olympics as a figure skater. However, she changed her sport to shooting early in her high school career when her grandfather took her hunting. “When I was in eighth grade my grandfather took me hunting,” Thrasher related. “I went and got my first deer and I liked the adrenaline.” She didn’t think she could make it as a figure skater as she once hoped, and instead moved on in her sporting career.
Thrasher said about the 10-meter air rifle event, “I think I knew it was realistic for me to make finals, but I was not focused on that … I was focusing on just shooting the best that I could, and that got me there.”
Thrasher, for now, plans on focusing on her schooling. Thrasher is majoring in engineering at West Virginia University.