Ginny Thrasher’s road to being a contender in the Summer Olympics is not by any means normal, she only started shooting in her freshman year in high school. Fast forward to her freshman year at WVU and she’s heading to the Olympics. Her coach agrees that she’s already had quite the career.
“It’s an unbelievable freshman year to win NCAA championships and qualify for the Olympics,” said Jon Hammond. “I would hazard she’s probably going to be one of the youngest members of the US shooting team at the Olympics.”
Several current and former WVU rifle team members have had notable Olympic appearances. Thrasher will compete against a few in this summer’s games, but she’s only concerned with her own performance.
“My focus is completely on me and completely on my process,” Thrasher said. “I know that there will be some people that I know, some former West Virginia people there, and I think it will be great to see them and compete against them. My goal is to just go there and shoot the best that I can.”
Head Coach Jon Hammond has competed in the Olympics and made it as far as the trials this year.
“Shooting in the Olympics is definitely one of the unique sports that has a really large age spread,” said Hammond. “There will be teenagers competing, and there will be 40 and 50 year olds competing. It has a large spread, but it’s also a sport that experience plays a big part.”
Thrasher said she didn’t go into any of her big matches expecting to win, but the cameras and attention should only help her in the next step.
“I definitely feel like my confidence grew, but also, not only my confidence in my shooting ability, but my confidence in being able to handle any scenario thrown at me,” said Thrasher. “It’s a very mental sport but that’s why I love rifle so much. Working on my mental game this year has really helped make the difference.”
Even though Thrasher is a top contender for her college team and heading to the Olympics, she thinks the most important thing is for her to just master the sport.
“I’ve gotten to this point in my career by focusing on my process, and myself, and not having any thought about outcome,” Thrasher said. “I just want to continue that attitude going into the Olympics and all of my future matches.”
Shooting rifle takes a lot of practice and focus and Ginny Thrasher has her eye on the target.