Team USA's First Gold Medal in Rio Goes to Ginny Thrasher!

Posted August 07, 2016

A 19-year-old woman named Ginny Thrasher won the first gold medal for America in the 2016 Olympics, but instead of celebrating, some people are face-palming.

Thrasher topped her spectacular spring where she won three NCAA titles and a spot on the U.S. Olympic team by upsetting China's Li Du, a two-time gold medalist, to win the women's 10-meter air rifle title. China's Du Li (left), won the silver and Yi Siling, also of China, won the bronze on Saturday.

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

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"I got my first deer and I liked the adrenaline of pulling the trigger", she said.

"It was nerve-wracking. My heart was pounding but I would not have changed it", said Thrasher.

Thrasher's triumph came before midday local time on Day 1 of the Games, putting the US into an immediate lead in the gold medal count with the unexpected triumph.

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The United States nearly always is in the race for the most medals in the Summer Olympics, and it's no different this year in Rio de Janeiro.

"About halfway through when I took the lead it kind of became clear to me that I was in contention for a medal, but I quickly pushed that thought away and focused on breathing and taking one shot at a time", Thrasher said. She competed in the women's 10-meter air rifle event. Not even when it was just down to her and two former Olympic gold medallists beside her - Yi and Du, the 2004 victor who shot an Olympic record in the qualification round earlier. What is worth noting is that, despite having proved herself in her country, she was never considered a favourite for the gold.

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