Inside USA Shooting: A Conversation with Olympic Gold Medalist Ginny Thrasher - NSSF Let's Go Shooting

Inside USA Shooting: A Conversation with Olympic Gold Medalist Ginny Thrasher

By: Daphane Cassidy, NSSF Staff

Ginny Thrasher, a name synonymous with excellence in Olympic shooting, opens up about her remarkable journey, providing a glimpse into the world of elite marksmanship. From winning gold on the Olympic stage to sharing her shooting expertise with thousands online, Thrasher’s story is one of dedication and unwavering passion for her sport.

In an interview with NSSF, Olympic Gold Medalist Ginny Thrasher delves into her shooting story, sharing insights, tips and the realities of funding Olympic shooting sports in the USA.

Finding Her Passion

Ginny Thrasher _ Hunting with her Grandpa

Ginny Thrasher hunting with her grandfather.

At the age of 14, she discovered her passion for shooting while accompanying her grandfather on a hunting trip. This initial spark ignited her interest in the shooting sports and led her to try out for her high school’s team.

Ginny Thrasher _ High School

Ginny Thrasher with her high school varsity air rifle team.

Introduced to air rifle shooting through her high school’s varsity team, she quickly found her calling, setting the stage for a remarkable career that would see her ascend to Olympic glory. Reflecting on her experience, Thrasher shares, “I decided that if you’re gonna do something, you want to do the best you can at it… My junior and senior year of high school were kind of enveloped with the recruiting process.”

Collegiate and International Success

Thrasher’s transition from high school to college marked the beginning of a new chapter in her shooting career. With a keen eye on excellence, she pursued collegiate shooting at West Virginia University, a decision driven by a desire to excel in the sport she loved. Ginny reflects on her collegiate experience fondly, sharing her experience as a “wide-eyed 18 year old… away from home for the first time… shooting as much as I wanted to and having this influx of knowledge, coaching and mindset training.”

Ginny Thrasher _ NCAA

Ginny Thrasher and her shooting team at West Virginia University, winning the NCAA Championship.

In her freshman year, Thrasher led her team to the NCAA championships and became the youngest individual in history to win both the air rifle and small-bore portions. Guided by dedicated coaching and relentless determination, Thrasher swiftly rose through the ranks, paving her way to international competitions and Olympic trials.

Olympic Triumph


Ginny Thrasher - 2016 Rio Olympics

Left: Ginny Thrasher competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Right: Ginny Thrasher on the podium with her Gold Medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Image Source: USA Today/Geoff Jackson

Thrasher’s crowning achievement came at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she made history as the youngest individual to win gold in women’s air rifle shooting. Reflecting on her victory, she says, “I was 19, which is very young for the shooting sports… I knew exactly what I was capable of and I had pure confidence in my ability.” Thrasher’s stellar performance on the world stage inspired generations of aspiring shooters and solidified her legacy in the sport.

Empowering the Community

Ginny Thrasher _ Social Media

Ginny Thrasher Tik Tok page and Instagram account

Beyond her personal achievements, Thrasher remains committed to empowering the shooting community through active engagement and mentorship. Through her social media presence, she strives to demystify the sport and foster inclusivity. “I never thought I would become an influencer… It’s been quite interesting to flip my mindset and have social media for the community, not for myself,” shares Thrasher. By providing insights, tips and encouragement, she hopes to inspire individuals to pursue their shooting aspirations with confidence and passion. Follow Ginny on Instagram @ginnythrasher.

Funding Our Athletes

Thrasher sheds light on the funding challenges faced by Olympic sports in the USA. “Most people don’t realize this, but the Olympic sports in America are not government-funded… our funding comes from donors, sponsors and members,” shares Thrasher. Individuals play a pivotal role in championing Olympic aspirations and sustaining the legacy of excellence in shooting.

As Ginny concludes this interview with NSSF, she extends a heartfelt invitation to support USA Shooting’s mission by becoming a member and contributing to the journey of aspiring athletes. With collective support and advocacy, Olympic shooting can continue to thrive and inspire generations to come.

Shooting Legacy

Ginny Thrasher’s journey from high school shooter to Olympic champion serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring marksmen and markswomen worldwide. With unwavering determination, a relentless pursuit of excellence and a commitment to community engagement, Thrasher exemplifies the true spirit of Olympic sportsmanship.

NSSF emphasizes the importance of supporting Olympic sports for future generations and encourages everyone to get involved!

What’s Next for Ginny

Ginny Thrasher Teaching Air Rifle

Ginny Thrasher Teaching

Ginny will be rooting on her USA Shooting teammates from the Paris sidelines this Olympic go-round, partially due to an injury this quad [four-year Olympic period]. Ginny will be taking a few months off from shooting this summer (like most professional athletes after the Olympics) and taking time to rest her body and focus on growing the Olympic shooting sports worldwide. She will be hosting the Ginny Thrasher Shooting Camp in Europe in addition to going on her long-awaited honeymoon. Ginny will continue to share her tips and experiences on social media, so be sure to follow her journey on Instagram, Tik Tok and Facebook.

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

USA Shooting Athletes Qualified for 2024 Paris Olympics


How to Get Involved and Support USA Shooting

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.


Twitter Instagram