We’re just over two weeks away from the torch lighting ceremony, so it’s time to introduce the US Team least likely to turn their back on the flag or kneel during the national anthem.
Our 2020/2021 Olympians are:
Men’s Air Rifle: Lucas Kozeniesky, William Shaner
Women’s Air Rifle: Mary Tucker, Ali Weisz
Men’s Smallbore Rifle: Patrick Sunderman, Nick Mowrer
Women’s Smallbore Rifle: Mary Tucker, Sagen Maddalena
Men’s Air Pistol: Nick Mowrer, James Hall
Women’s Sport Pistol: Alexis Lagan, Sandra Uptagrafft
Rapid Fire Pistol: Henry Leverett, Jackson Leverett
Men’s Skeet: Vincent Hancock, Phillip Jungman
Women’s Skeet: Austen Smith, Amber English
Men’s Trap: Derrick Mein, Brian Burrows
Women’s Trap: Kayle Browning, Madelynn Bernau
US Olympic Shooting Team
I’m struck by how long it’s been since I was on the team (and then not in an Olympic year). I don’t know any of these people… Unfortunately, none of our medalists from the 2016 Rio games are back on the roster. The most experienced competitor on the team is Vincent Hancock, in his 4th Olympics, having won the gold twice before. Kim Rhode missed the cut to compete in an unprecedented 7th Olympiad (having medaled in the previous 6 Olympics). She has stated she’ll be back for the 2024 trials, and may continue on to the tryouts for the 2028 games in Los Angeles. Nick Mowrer is notable for being the first US shooter to qualify in two different disciplines (rifle and pistol) in the same Olympics since 1924. Also of note are brothers Henry and Jackson Leverett, both competing in Rapid Fire Pistol. I sure hope they are on good terms with one another.
280 shooters from other nations will join Team USA to compete in 15 events, though all without spectators due to a Covid resurgence in the Tokyo area:
10m Air Pistol - Men
10m Air Pistol - Women
10m Air Pistol - Mixed Team
25m Pistol - Women
25m Rapid Fire Pistol - Men
10m Air Rifle - Women
10m Air Rifle - Men
10m Air Rifle - Mixed Team
50m Rifle 3 Positions - Women
50m Rifle 3 Positions – Men
Shotgun Skeet - Women
Shotgun Skeet - Men
Shotgun Trap - Women
Shotgun Trap - Men
Shotgun Trap - Mixed Team
The mixed team events are new this year. Men and women competed together in all events until 1988, when separate events for men and women were created. Now, the separate events remain, but a mixed-gender team event has been added.
Conspicuously absent from the event list is 50m Free Pistol. THAT makes me mad. Free Pistol had not only been a medal event since the inception of the modern Olympics, it had been the FIRST medal event, as way back in 1896, Baron Pierre de Coubertin (father of the modern games) declared Free Pistol to be the most difficult of the Olympic events, and so reserved it that place of honor. I really hate to see it go. That was MY event, dammit! Well, that and Air Pistol, but I was better at Free Pistol.
Tokyo Olympics Shooting Preview
The shooting events start with Air Rifle and Air Pistol on Saturday July 24, and continue through Monday August 2 when Rapid Fire Pistol and 3 Position Smallbore Rifle wrap up. You won't see much of these in the TV coverage, but you can find them in the online video feeds. I'll also pop in here periodically to post results.