The rescheduled Summer Olympics are fast approaching the excitement is building. Events kickoff live from Tokyo beginning on July 23rd.
The Olympics always seem to bring out people’s patriotism and very few things in life are more patriotic than rooting for Team USA to outshoot every other country in the archery, rifle, pistol, and shotgun events.
Team USA’s ability to outshoot opponents is what liberated our nation from the British Crown and allowed America to win back to back World Wars, but luckily the stakes for the Olympic shooting competitions aren’t quite THAT high. None the less its always reassuring to know that America is still home to the best shooters on the planet though.
Shooting events have been a part of every Olympic Games since their inception, besides the 1904 Games in St. Louis, Missouri, and the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. Both individual and team events took place until 1948, when the format switched to individual accolades only (except for archery.)
According to USA Shooting, the number of Olympic shooting events has ranged from a low of 2 at the 1932 Los Angeles to a high of 21 events in Atwerp in 1920.
Beginning in 2008 at the Beijing Olympic Games, the Olympic program now includes 15 events: six for women and nine for men. The athletes are divided into shotgun, rifle and pistol disciplines.
Archery is much newer to the Olympics, but both the mens and women’s archery teams have fully qualified for the summer games, each sending 3 shooters to Japan, respectively.
The men’s archery team is lead by two fellas that have already Olympic experience. Brady Ellison is aiming for gold this time around after winning individual silver medals at the 2012 and 2016 games. He is joined by Jacob Wukie who will be making his second Olympic appearance and newcomer Jack Williams, who was ranked as one of the top 10 archers in the world in 2019.
The U.S. men’s team has won the overall gold in back to back summer games while the Women’s team looks to add to a medal collection that only include a bronze medal from the 1988 games, the same year that archery was added to the Olympic slate.
17-year phenom named Casey Kaufhold looks to elevate Team USA’s presence on the women’s archery scene in her first Olympic Games. She just started competition internationally two years ago, but already took home gold medals at the 2019 Pan Am Games. She is joined on the team by former Olympian Mackenzie Brown and fellow newcomer Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez.
As for the gun games, the U.S. qualified for the maximum of 21 spots – 8 each for shotgun and rifle and 5 for pistol – but will send only 19 shooters to Tokyo because two participants qualified in multiple events.
America’s rifle team consists of Lucas Kozeniesky, Sagen Maddalena, Nick Mowrer, William Shaner, Patrick Sunderman, Mary Tucker, Ali Weisz.
The shotgun team is composed of Vincent Hancock (a two time Olympic Gold Medalist), Phillip Jungman, Austen Smith, Amber English, Derrick Mein, Brian Burrows, Kayle Browning, and Madelynn Bernau.
The pistol team includes Nick Mowrer, James Hall, Alexis Lagan, Sandra Uptagraff, Keith Sanderson.
For a full preview of the Olympic Shooting Team and more information specific events, check out the Team USA website.
Best of luck to all competitors as they grind away at the last few weeks of practice rounds before they step onto the biggest stage of their competitive archery and shooting careers.
This will be the first Olympic Summer Games since 1996 that do not include Kim Rhode, the most decorated U.S. competitive shotgun shooter ever. Rhode became the youngest woman to ever win a gold medal in shooting in 1996. She would go in to win 2 more gold medals in his career, and 6 Olympic medals overall.