Special to The Bedford Citizen
According to USA Today, “American shooter Ginny Thrasher won the first gold medal of the Rio Olympics, pulling off an upset in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event Saturday morning. Thrasher, 19, beat silver medalist Du Li of China in the final round with a total of 208.0, setting an Olympic record in the finals.”
When NBC’s Dan Patrick interviewed the bubbly blonde nineteen-year-old in Rio De Janeiro, she told him she had been shooting for five years. That’s about the time she and her family left the Bedford area.
Ginny and her family are part of Bedford’s Boy Scout Troop 194 family. Both of her older brothers received their Eagle ranks here, one in 2006 and the other in 2010. Her father was a Scoutmaster and her mom was also very active with the troop.
“There are many connections with Ginny and her family, on multiple levels” said OC O’Connor, Assistant Scoutmaster with the American Legion-sponsored Troop. Ginny explained in her interview just how important it was to have the correct mindset, to go after your goals with determination. She also said how she always tries to go out there and “do my best”. “Do My Best” is part of the Boy Scout Oath noted O’Connor.
Ginny Thrasher will be a sophomore at West Virginia University (WVU) this year, in fact after the Olympics s) she’ll fly from Brazil straight back to college. Academically competitive as well, the honors college student excelled in the WVU rifle program. Ginny made history earlier this year by becoming the first freshman in the NCAA to sweep the individual titles wins in small bore and air rifle competitions at the 2016 NCAA Championships. She said “I’m very focused when I’m competing”.
When asked if she’s always held a place in her heart for this sport she said she originally wanted to be a figure skater, but now “I love my sport and enjoy it so much, it’s a dream come true.” Ginny went on to say “it hasn’t even sunk in yet, this medal makes me so proud to go out and represent my country and start off Rio 2016 on a positive note for the US”.
We are all proud of Ginny Thrasher and all the athletes who represent the US in the Olympics. Who knows who else will rise to a very competitive stature while “Shooting for Gold”?