William Shaner of Colorado Springs made history at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the second youngest American to win an Olympic gold medal. His winning score of 251.6 points set a new Olympic record in 10-meter air rifle competition, overpowering Chinese shooter Sheng Lihao’s strong challenge.
Born and raised in Colorado Springs
William Shaner’s Journey to Olympic Gold
At 20 years old, shooter William Shaner set out with the goal of becoming an Olympian. Though there were obstacles along the way, his commitment and enthusiasm for shooting ultimately enabled him to reach success.
He has been involved in shooting sports since he was a junior athlete, and his success has earned him the opportunity to compete internationally. Additionally, he earned a shooting scholarship at the University of Kentucky.
He was part of the United States team in men’s air rifle at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he set an Olympic record with a final round score of 251.6 points to edge out China’s Lihao Sheng by 0.7 points to win his first gold medal for Team USA.
Competed as a junior athlete
As a junior athlete, William Shaner had numerous opportunities for competition. He won multiple state and national titles as well as taking part in international events.
Shaner had the honor of representing his country at several tournaments this summer, including a World Cup in Croatia. Additionally, he earned gold at the Olympics for men’s 10 meter air rifle competition.
He is currently studying business at the University of Kentucky and has been competing in the National Junior Olympic Championships all throughout the school year, winning first prize in men’s 10 meter air gun competition.
Shaner, 20 years old and member of the UK rifle team alongside teammates Mary Tucker and Lucas Kozeniesky, is hoping for medals in Tokyo after being part of their NCAA national champion smallbore air rifle team last season.
Earned a shooting scholarship at the University of Kentucky
Shaner led the Wildcats to victory at the national air rifle championship during his junior year at UK, earning first-team All-American recognition from the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association for both smallbore and air rifle competition.
William Shaner is a two-time Olympic competitor and an all-time USA Shooting and NCAA shooting champion. Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Shaner began shooting when he was 9 years old and quickly rose to become one of the top competitors in his age group.
Driven by his desire for perfection and love of his small-town roots, he strives to be an inspirational role model for the next generation of shooting athletes on the rise.
On Sunday at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Kentucky and the United States were proud to celebrate Will Shaner’s gold medal win in men’s air rifle. The 20-year-old from Colorado Springs, CO entered the competition ranked only 21st but went on to set an Olympic record score in the final, giving him his country its first gold medal ever in this 10-meter event.
Competed in the Tokyo Olympics
After years of honing his skills at the gun range, William Shaner finally achieved success at the Olympics. On Sunday he earned a gold medal for Team USA in the 10-meter Air Rifle competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
He took home the title with a final-round score of 251.6 at Asaka Shooting Range, beating China’s 16-year-old Sheng Lihao by just 0.7 points to become Team USA’s first Olympic air rifle champion and set an Olympic record in the process.
His dream of becoming an Olympic athlete had been a reality since childhood, and now that dream has come true. “I’m just in awe,” he told News5.