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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Eight Year-old Shooting Phenom Alexis Nicole Welch

Photo by Oleg Volk, American Shooting Journal
I mentioned last week that one of the things that caught my eye at this year's NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits were the number of young competitive shooters walking the exhibit hall proudly wearing their shooting team shirts.  Yesterday, I opened my email late in the afternoon and VSSA's Executive Director, Lu Charette, had shared an article from Gun Digest about Alexis Nicole Welch and a link to her Facebook Fan Page.  I Goggled her name and found this article in American Shooting Journal that gives even more information about this hot shot young shooter:
Some people are larger than life. They are rare. Even more rare are children whose accomplishments would make any adult proud. Alexis Welch of western Kentucky is one such kid. If a writer used Alexis as a book character, most of the readers would have accused them of being unrealistic – nobody is that multitalented, at least in the mundane world where most people live. And yet, Alexis is quite real and keeps getting more impressive by the day.  Alexis started shooting at age five. Her grandfather Tryce “PaPa” Welch had already raised one competitor, his daughter Stephanie who became a professional motorcycle racer. Her career was cut short by an injury after a very promising start. Unlike her mother, Alexis had little interest in riding dirt bikes, but a keen desire to shoot guns. The competitive aspects of marksmanship were a mystery to Tryce, so he educated himself and started training Alexis.
According to the Gun Digest article, this little shooter overcame being born deaf and she lost her shooting coach as her grandfather recently passed away.  That hasn't stopped her though as she has returned to competition and regularly competes against shooters twice her age.

I recommend reading both articles linked above because this kid is something else.  She has participated in NSSF Rimfire Challenge, USPSA and multi-gun competitions. Alexis also won the Indiana State Steel Challenge Champion Ladies 12 and under open category.  She's a well rounded kid too as she also enjoys playing soccer and softball, sings, plays music and practices gymnastics.  As the email Lu forwarded said shooters like these are the future of the shooting sports.

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