Olympics Exclusive Q&A: Ivan Roe, USA Men's Air Rifle and 50m Smallbore Rifle - NSSF Let's Go Shooting

Olympics Exclusive Q&A: Ivan Roe, USA Men’s Air Rifle and 50m Smallbore Rifle

By: Daphane Cassidy, NSSF Staff

As the Paris 2024 Olympics approach, Ivan Roe, an extraordinary marksman, will represent the United States on the global stage in the Men’s Air Rifle and 50m Smallbore Rifle events.

In an exclusive Q&A session with NSSF, Ivan shares his unique journey from reluctantly joining a local BB gun club at the age of seven to becoming an Olympic athlete. His path includes transitioning through various shooting disciplines, competing at Murray State University, and ultimately enlisting in the Army Marksmanship Unit. Ivan provides insights into his unwavering training regimen, the significance of achieving his Olympic dream, and his goal of giving his all in Paris. Additionally, he offers valuable advice to aspiring Olympians about perseverance and overcoming hardships.

Learn more about Ivan Roe’s aspirations as he prepares for the ultimate competition in Paris.

How did you get started in shooting sports? Can you describe your journey from starting in shooting sports to becoming an Olympic athlete?

“I started out in the shooting sports, kind of as an accident. When I was seven, my dad signed me up for our local Jaycee BB Gun club with the intent of making me a safe hunter. Hunting has always been part of my family and my dad’s. The BB Gun program offered marksmanship instruction along with hunters safety classes twice a week. Originally, I really didn’t enjoy doing it, but my dad said I had to just go through the State match one year, and then I could quit if I wanted to. Well, at that State match, my team took 3rd place, and that little bit of winning had me hooked. I shot BB Gun until I aged out of the discipline at 14. Then I took the next step to graduate to Air Rifle which allowed me to begin looking at carrying my sport into a collegiate team. In the spring of 2014, I signed up to compete for Murray State University, which I did for four years, picking up 7 All-American accolades. Once I graduated from Murray, I decided I wasn’t done shooting and started looking for a way to continue after college. That led me to the Army Marksmanship Unit, where I enlisted in 2019 and have been competing ever since.”

Ivan Roe USA Shooting

Ivan Roe Shooting at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Image Source: (USA Shooting/Joshua Schave)

How has your training regimen evolved since qualifying for the 2024 Olympics? Can you describe a typical day of training in preparation for the Olympics?

“My training plan hasn’t actually changed since making the team. It was good enough to get me on the team so I have to trust that it will be enough on match day at the Olympics. Trust your Training. Trust Yourself.”

How does it feel to be preparing for the Olympics, and what does this opportunity mean to you?

“The opportunity to be able to compete at the Olympics has been my goal for well over a decade. Accomplishing it has meant everything to me. It means that all the hours of training and pain and frustration I’ve gone through were all worth it.”

Ivan Roe with Shooting Medals

Ivan Roe with his many shooting Medals. Image Source: (USA Shooting/Brittany Nelson)

What are your goals and aspirations for the Paris 2024 Olympics?

“My original goal was to just become an Olympian. Now that I’ve done that, the obvious goal would be to win a medal, but that’s not my new goal. My new goal is to go to Paris and shoot three matches that I can walk away from, saying that I gave it everything I had.”

What advice would you give to aspiring shooting sports athletes who hope to compete at the Olympic level in the future?

“I would tell an aspiring Olympian that you are going to struggle, you are going to fail, you are going to want to give up sometimes. Don’t. All those hardships are going to turn you into someone who can handle whatever the sport, and world can throw at you. You are going to emerge better than you ever were, just keep pushing.”

Ivan Roe USA Shooting

The USA Olympic Rifle and pistol athletes qualified for the 2024 Olympics. Left to right: Sagen Maddalena, Mary Tucker, Ivan Roe, Katelyn Abeln and Lexi Lagan.  Image Source: (USA Shooting/Joshua Schave)

Have you encountered challenges securing funding or sponsorships to support your Olympic aspirations? How do you manage the financial aspects of your shooting career, including equipment costs and travel?

“Because I’m a soldier in the Army, the Army supports me in my mission with a steady paycheck and assists with all my other shooting needs. My biggest financial burden is trying to support two households. My wife is currently pursuing her dream of becoming a Zoo Veterinarian, which means we don’t get to live together since there are no Zoos in Columbus. We are balancing our home and living expenses along with her apartment and living expenses. It’s difficult, but we are making it work.”

Ivan Roe’s journey from a reluctant young shooter to an Olympic athlete is a testament to his resilience, dedication, and passion for the sport. His steadfast belief in trusting his training and himself has been key to his success. Ivan remains focused and committed to giving his best performance in Paris.

Be sure to follow along and support Ivan and the rest of the USA Shooting Athletes competing in the Olympics this Summer.

How to Get Involved and Support USA Shooting

Join NSSF in supporting the USA Shooting team and be part of their path to Olympic glory. Whether you become a USA Shooting member, donate, sponsor or follow the Olympic sports your involvement, in any capacity, helps elevate the sport and helps ensure our athletes have the resources they need to excel on the world stage.

BECOME A MEMBER: Whether you want to compete in USA Shooting-sanctioned events, or if you’re just interested in following the sport and supporting USA Shooting, there are membership options for you.

DONATE: Show your support by donating to USA Shooting. Whether you make a one-time donation or a recurring gift, every dollar helps put our athletes on the podium.

SPONSOR: USA Shooting offers several sponsorship categories, each providing unique benefits and opportunities for businesses and organizations.

Learn more about the USA Shooting Athletes Heading to the 2024 Olympics

USA Shooting Athletes Qualified for 2024 Paris Olympics


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