William Shaner has had a lasting influence on the shooting sports community. He has brought recognition to the sport and encouraged young people to pursue their goals with passion and determination.
At the tender age of nine, he began shooting competitively through a 4-H program in Rifle, Colorado. Today he is an acclaimed American shooter.
He Won a Gold Medal at the Tokyo Olympics
William Shaner, 20 years old, won the gold medal for men’s 10-meter air rifle at the Tokyo Olympics – breaking an Olympic record in the process. He began shooting at age 8 and won his first international competition at 14; becoming second-youngest men’s 10-meter air rifle Olympic champion behind Zhu Qinan (19 years old when he won gold during 2004 Athens Games).
In the final round, Kentucky native Matthew Wood won by 0.7 over China’s Sheng Lihao (16), at Asaka Shooting Range and set a new Olympic record with 251.6 points.
He is an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky and part of their rifle team. His teammates include Mary Tucker and Lucas Kozeniesky.
He Was Born in Colorado Springs
Shaner was born in Colorado Springs, a city situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains. It’s home to Garden of the Gods park and Pikes Peak – an iconic landmark located within Pike National Forest.
His parents, Gregory and Victoria Shaner, lived on the Western Slope when he was born; however, they relocated back to Colorado Springs when he was a teenager. While still growing up, Gregory began training for shooting sports and soon enough began winning local competitions before going on to compete internationally.
He has achieved many remarkable accomplishments in shooting sports, such as winning a gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics and receiving numerous other awards. Additionally, his participation on the University of Kentucky rifle team led them to victory at their national championship in 2021.
He Won a Gold Medal at the Pan American Games
The Pan American Games (also referred to as the Pan Am Games) are an annual sports competition held among nations of North and South America that takes its inspiration from the Olympic Games. It is administered by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), located in Mexico City.
In 1951, Argentina hosted the inaugural edition of the Pan Am Games with 22 countries and 2,513 athletes participating.
Team USA’s William Shaner earned a gold medal in the men’s 10-meter air rifle event. He defeated China’s Haoran Yang and Lihao Sheng to take home the title, setting an Olympic record with his final round score of 251.6 points.
He Won a Gold Medal at the U.S. Olympic Trials
Shaner, a Colorado Springs native, was one of the nation’s most promising young shooters. As a freshman he earned himself the title of NCAA Rookie of the Year and went on to win team gold with Kentucky during his sophomore and junior years.
He was a two-time NCAA air rifle individual champion and an All-American First Team member, plus he earned a bronze medal in smallbore at the 2014 Pan American Games.
William Shaner made Olympic history Sunday by winning a gold medal in the men’s 10-meter air rifle competition. His Olympic record score of 251.6 in the final round, surpassing China’s Sheng Lihao by one point, secured him victory.
He Made History
William Shaner has made a name for himself as an athlete by competing in multiple shooting sports. With natural talent for the sport, he has spent countless hours honing his skills and improving accuracy and consistency.
He has also worked diligently to cultivate mental focus and physical endurance, which have enabled him to excel under pressure – an essential skill in competitive shooting.
He has achieved a lot at such a young age, yet his journey is not over yet. He plans to keep training and competing at the highest level while using his talent to bring success to others.
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