Virginia Thrasher has been on a winning spree since spring. She has won three NCAA titles and secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic Shooting team.
During the Olympics, she kept her nerves and earned the first gold medal of the Rio Olympics by winning the women’s 10-meter air rifle. 19-year-old, she was quoted saying it has been an incredible year.
Thrasher rose to the top with a lot of hard work. Initially, she was a figure skater during her growing up years. Five years earlier after returning from a family hunting trip, she continued shooting and had been hitting the mark ever since. During the NCAA season at West Virginia, she became the first freshman to win the NCAA rifles titles.
She also won the U.S. Olympic trials winning the spot at Rio. She finished just a slot behind Sarah Scherer qualifying to participate in the finals. She scored a perfect 10.9 in the elimination round as Scherer got knocked out.
As the competition progressed, Thrasher retained the top spot and scored consistently in the 10s. When she entered the finals, she was leading with 0.7 points and in the first round scored an impressive 10.5 that was matched by the fellow contender Li. She scored a 10.4 in the next round which Li failed to match up as she scored 10.1 landing her on the top spot on the podium. The fact that she pulled this feat among the top most shooters in the world is certainly a cherry on top of her victory cake.
Li had won gold medals in the 2004 Athens games, and she also progressed until the second round in the 2012 London Games. The fact that Thrasher had won against two Chinese shooters to win the medal is a sweet surprise.
An elated Thrasher informed the press that she is looking forward to joining back school. A biomedical engineering major, she will be starting school from August 2017.