Team USA shooter Virginia Thrasher wins first gold medal in Rio Olympics

Ross Houston
August 9, 2016

The event starts with a subdivision that includes 41-year-old Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan, who will be competing in her seventh Olympics, a record for a gymnast.

The precocious 19-year-old closed out the summer with her biggest surprise yet.

"I'm so happy to start off Rio 2016 with a gold medal for my country", Thrasher said.

Thrasher, according to a recent profile in the Washington Post, originally wanted to compete in figure skating but discovered her talent for shooting after taking up deer hunting with her grandfather.

"This is beyond my wildest dreams", Thrasher said.

Virginia Thrasher arrived in Rio de Janeiro this month, ready to take part in just her second global competition and glad that an event as momentous as the Olympics would be where she celebrated her fifth anniversary in shooting.


Meanwhile Team GB won their first gold of the games through Adam Peaty, who set another new world record on his way to winning the men's 100m Breaststroke. "And to have somebody who, this will be his fourth Olympics, that level of experience - and he's still a great player - and commitment, it's a godsend, really", US coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Thrasher stayed in the top spot as her competitors fell off, consistently hitting 10s despite a fan blowing an air horn at random times.

Thrasher finished a point ahead of two-time gold medalist Li Du of China.

Hungary's gold medal winner Katinka Hosszu is flanked by United States' silver medal winner Maya DiRado, left, and Spain's bronze medal winner Mireia Belmonte Garcia after the women's 400-meter individual medley finalduring the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

ROAD CYCLING: A day after the men took to Rio's streets, women road cyclists are in the medal hunt starting at 12:15 p.m.

-Simone Biles, who has a legitimate chance to pull in a record five gold medals from gymnastics.


- The U.S. men's basketball team opened its quest for a third straight gold medal by ripping China 119-62. She also took on the fight over gun control laws and how they impact her sport, saying, "Some of the (controversy surrounding) gun laws in America is just distracting from our sport, which is very different".

"You hear all these awful things about how it is going to be and then you get here and it seems fine", she said.

This video includes images from Getty Images and clips from West Virginia University, NRA and Winchester Ammunition.

"I'm actually looking forward to getting back to school again", Thrasher said.

HANDBALL HOST: Host Brazil upset reigning gold medalist Norway 31-28 in the opening game of the handball tournament.


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