Jamie Gray had thought about her final Olympic shot in London a “bazillion” times since missing her last one in Beijing. She narrowly missing out on a medal four years ago. Gray envisioned it in her mind, practiced it in training and talked about it repeatedly with a sports psychologist.
But when the actual moment came Saturday morning, her substantial lead made the final shot in the women’s 50-meter rifle three position seem inconsequential. Gray, however, wasn’t about to abandon her strategy.
She took several deep breaths, focused on calming her nerves, pictured the perfect shot in her mind and then fired a massive 10.8 points to win the United States’ third gold medal in shooting during these Games. Her 691.9 total points, including a 99.9 in the final round, also set an Olympic record.
“This is a dream come true,” the two-time Olympian said after the medal ceremony. “I made a plan and I stepped to it. It was just a great performance.”
Ivana Maksimovic of Serbia won silver with a total score of 687.5 points, while the Czech Republic’s Adela Sykorova took the bronze with 683.0.
Gray’s victory marks only the second time since World War II that the United States has won three gold medals in shooting. It last had three shooters atop the podium at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.
Jamie began shooting in a BB gun program at 8 years old. As a high school student, she was a member of the National Honor Society and also played varsity soccer, basketball and softball. Jamie graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and shot for its nationally-renowned rifle team. She is currently the technical coach for the Columbus State University Rifle Team in west Georgia.
“Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.”