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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

She Started With Deer Hunting, Now She's an Olympian

Last week the Washington Post had another great article on Virginian Ginny Thrasher:
Ginny Thrasher once dreamed of being an Olympic figure skater. While she glided up and down the ice at Fairfax Ice Arena, Thrasher thought about one day representing the United States on one of the world’s biggest stages. But when ninth grade came around, Thrasher realized her route to a gold medal probably wasn’t in skating.

“To be honest, I was never very good at it,” Thrasher said.

But this August, Thrasher, 19, will represent the United States as the youngest shooter on the 15-member Olympic rifle team. As a freshman at West Virginia, she won national titles in both air rifle and small-bore during the NCAA championships in March. Then on April 4, she was named to the U.S. team headed to Rio.

“What she achieved as a freshman in college is as good as anyone in the last 10 years or more,” West Virginia rifle Coach Jon Hammond said. “The things she’s achieved just this year, it’s not very often that someone achieves that. Usually it’s someone who has international experience and has been shooting for a long time. Not a college freshman.”
Just a little over five year's ago, according to the article, Thrasher asked her parents during a return trip from her grandparents why she "couldn't go hunting with grandpa?"  Not only did she go hunting, to the surprise of her father and grandfather, she shot a deer:
“It was just a big rush of adrenaline,” Thrasher said. “Things were happening very fast and all of a sudden, my aim was good and it was an exciting feeling.”
That hunting trip lead her to go to an open practice for the air rifle team at West Springfield High School (located in Fairfax). The rest is history.  The Post notes that by the end of her senior year at West Springfield, Thrasher had earned five medals at the 2015 USA Shooting national championships and third place at the 2014 Junior Olympic championships.  In March, Thrasher became the second member of West Virginia University’s rifle program to win both the individual small-bore and air rifle NCAA championships, earning her a spot at the U.S. Olympic trials in Fort Benning, Ga. By the end of the second day of the three day trials, Thrasher had pretty much clinched her spot.

Read the entire article.  It's another great profile of this outstanding young lady.

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