YES! The first gold medal at the Rio Olympics 2016 has gone to an American! Virginia Thrasher, 19, came first in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle event on Aug. 6 and became an instant hero in her homeland. Click here for the full details!
The sharp shooter, who hails from Virginia, managed to overcome the odds to edge out China’s Du Li with an Olympic record score of 208. What made Virginia’s achievement even more incredible was that she was a complete outsider, ranked number 23 in the world. She wasn’t even thought of as a bronze medalist, no matter gold!
Yi Siling, also of China, finished third and secured bronze, while another American Sarah Scherer ended up in eighth place. But the day belonged to Virginia, who managed to shoot 10.5 on her first shot of the elimination round, and 10.4 on her second shot. In fact, she knew she was in pole position after her first two efforts, and let out a massive grin after she completed her first two rounds. Du, who is a two-time gold medalist just had no answer to Virginia’s incredible effort.
Despite Virginia’s obviously novice standing in the sport, in the US she was seen as our best hope. She was the first freshman to win both the individual NCAA rifle titles, and she also was part of the West Virginia that won the title. At the Olympic trials back in July, Virginia finished first, booking her place in Rio.
This really is a dream come true for Virginia, and she really deserved it after gradually improving event by event. She’s the first American hero, and hopefully there’s more golds to come!
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked by Virginia’s win? Pleased for her? Can the U-S-A get a record haul of gold medals at this year’s Games? Tell us below!