2020 Tokyo Olympics: Army Lt. Amber English Takes Home Gold in Skeet Shooting, Breaks Olympic Record

by Amy Myers
2020-tokyo-olympics-army-lt-amber-english-takes-home-gold-skeet-shooting-breaks-olympic-record

While all of our athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are shooting for gold, on Monday, Army Lieutenant Amber English actually did. After breaking 56 out of a possible 60 targets in women’s skeet shooting, English beat the defending champion, Diana Bacosi of Italy, by just one target.

And that’s not all.

On top of her win, 1st Lt. English also broke an Olympic record, becoming the first member of the U.S. military to ever bring home a gold medal. She is also only the second woman in American history to win gold in skeet shooting. The 31-year-old joined the U.S. Army only four years ago. She has been competitively shooting for 15 years.

In Monday’s competition during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, English pulled ahead of Bacosi in targets 41 to 50. She continued to hit every target, blasting the pink clay pigeons into a cloud of dust, until the very last. But at that point, English already secured the gold medal win. Watch below for a recap of the event.

The Story Behind 2020 Tokyo Olympics Gold Medalist Amber English

Before Amber English represented Team U.S.A. in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she was just a Colorado girl with a love for shooting. English first started shooting recreationally when she was only six years old. Ten years later, she finally entered competitive shooting. At 21-years-old, English received an invitation to join the Olympic training center as a full-time resident in 2013.

However, English didn’t qualify for the actual games until 2017. According to the Army Times, English barely missed the mark for the 2021 and 2016 Olympics. At the time, shotgunner Kim Rhodes represented Team U.S.A. in skeet shooting. Rhodes has had six career Olympic medals, including three gold, one silver and two bronze.

What finally pushed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalist over the edge and into Team U.S.A. was the motivation she devised from her beloved father’s death. Like his daughter, both English’s father and her uncle spent their time at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs. The two were a part of the U.S. National Shotgun Team.

After her father’s passing, English joined the Army as a logistics officer and became a member of the U.S. Army’s Marksmanship Unit. Now, she is also a part of the Army World Class Athlete Program, which helps soldiers balance their military service with Olympic trainings. And according to the gold medalist, she wouldn’t have made it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics without her career in the Army.

“I knew I had to completely change everything I was doing in my life,” English said. “I joined the Army, moved from Colorado down to Fort Benning Georgia and surrounded myself with a seriously winning atmosphere, so it paid off.”

Outsider.com