Olympics Exclusive Q&A: Ryann Phillips, USA Women's Trap - NSSF Let's Go Shooting

Olympics Exclusive Q&A: Ryann Phillips, USA Women’s Trap

By: Daphane Cassidy, NSSF Staff

As the Paris 2024 Olympics draw near, Ryann Phillips, an exceptional athlete in women’s trap shooting, prepares to showcase her talent on the global stage.

In this exclusive Q&A with NSSF, Ryann recounts her unique journey from joining her local 4-H program in third grade to becoming an Olympic athlete. She discusses the evolution of her training regimen, particularly the challenges of living far from a training range and the dedication required to maximize her practice time. Ryann shares the surreal experience of preparing for the Olympics and offers valuable advice to aspiring athletes on balancing hard work with enjoyment. She also opens up about the financial hurdles she’s encountered, the support from sponsorships, and the innovative ways she has managed to fund her shooting career.

Get an inside look at Ryann Phillips’ journey as she aims for Olympic glory 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 got started in shooting sports in the 3rd grade through my local 4-H program. I wanted to show animals, and my mom wouldn’t let me. So I joined the shotgun team. Over the years, I competed in many different 4-H competitions and saw a lot of success. I then attended the San Antonio Stock Show Shoot (SALE) and took 2nd place in Modified Trap. Mod Trap was sponsored by USA Shooting that year, and I got an invitation to the Texas State Junior Olympics. I ended up winning that competition. After that, I started going to USA Shooting matches, and now here we are.”

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?

“I live nearly 5 hours from the nearest range I can train at. So for me, I have to make that drive. Most of the time, I’ll stay for 2-3 days and train while I’m there. I spend the morning shooting, go get lunch, then shoot until dark. Mostly trying to get as many rounds in as I can in a day.

Ryann Phillips - USA Shooting

Ryann Phillips competing in the U.S. Olympic Trials. Image Source: (USA Shooting/Joshua Schave)

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

“It’s hard to put how I feel into words. This is an opportunity I never thought I would have. When I first started shooting, I hated it. My family and my coaches thought I wouldn’t come back. To know that I pushed through that and ended up where I am today is amazing. I can’t thank those around me enough. I don’t think it feels real yet.”

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

“I just want to enjoy the opportunity I’ve been given. While I want to do well and medal, I also know that the most important thing is enjoying the experience. I want to have fun and enjoy this amazing chance.”

Ryann Phillips - USA Shooting

Ryann Phillips competing in the U.S. Olympic Trials. Image Source: (USA Shooting/Joshua Schave)

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

“Remember that sports and hobbies are supposed to be for enjoyment. Push yourself, but don’t make yourself miserable because you think you have to do this. Do your best, use your resources, and enjoy the ride.”

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?

“I absolutely have. I was raised by a single mother who is a teacher. Funding was definitely an issue every so often. I applied to every grant, scholarship, and funding opportunity I could. I still do. Being in college, I have to manage money even more. I was very lucky to get a sponsorship with Zoli Shotguns, and I now shoot one of their guns. I use grants when I can and save money for when I don’t have other funding.”

Ryann Phillips’ path to the Paris 2024 Olympics is marked by determination, resilience, and a deep love for shooting sports. From a local 4-H program to competing at the highest level, her story is both inspiring and motivational. Despite financial challenges, her creativity and support from sponsorships have kept her Olympic dreams within reach. As she prepares for Paris, Ryann is focused on performing her best and enjoying the experience.

Follow and support Ryann and the USA Shooting Athletes as they compete 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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