Shooters from the United States claimed six medals during the 2021 Olympics, the most since the games in 1964, coincidentally also held in Tokyo. The total number of medals include three Golds—one each in Men’s Skeet, Women’s Skeet and Men’s Air Rifle. Americans also took Silvers in Women’s Trap and 10-Meter Air Rifle Mixed Team and a Bronze in Trap Mixed Team.
Colorado Springs, Co. native Amber English (above) claimed Gold in Women’s Skeet with a final score of 56 hits, setting a new Olympic record. Her road to that victory and new highwater mark was not an easy one, though.
In 2012, she narrowly missed making the U.S. team, and shortly after missing the cut again in 2016, her father—a five-time national shooting champion—died. It was a devastating blow, and she found it hard to get back on the firing line. In 2017, she joined the U.S. Army. With the encouragement from family and friends, particularly fellow competitive shotgunner Vincent Hancock, she became a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. She rose to the rank of first lieutenant and has now claimed Olympic Gold.
Hancock was there along her side for the victory, at least when he wasn’t shooting himself. He took top honors in Men’s Skeet, becoming the first man in history to claim three Gold Medals in the event.
William Shaner took the first Olympic Medal ever claimed by the United States in Men’s Air Rifle. It was a Gold one, too. The student at the University of Kentucky clung to a narrow 1.5-point lead to get it done, although his scorching score of 251.6 also set a new Olympic record.
Kayle Browning took Silver in Women’s Trap, as did Mary Tucker and Lucas Kozeniesky in the 10-Meter Air Rifle Mixed Team event. Madelynn Ann Bernau and Brian Burrows claimed Bronze in Trap Mixed Team.
Photo by Maj. Nathaniel Garcia, courtesy of the U.S. Army