Amber English is the second American to ever win the women’s skeet shooting event.
Amber English won her first-ever Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday. The U.S. Army soldier also broke an Olympic record for women’s skeet shooting at the Asaka Shooting Range. English, who is from a family of competitive shooters, earned 56 points in the finals, setting a new Olympic record. "All I could control in the final was just my own shooting and my own emotions, but it's always down to the last wire with the skeet," English told the press afterward, according to the official Olympics website. "We are very fortunate to be here to be able to compete. You know everyone wanted to compete last year but we are very fortunate to still be here and do what we do. We appreciate everything," English added. She is also is only the second American to win the women's skeet shooting event. The 31-year-old has four world cup medals to her name (2010, 2016, 2018, 2019).
According to The Guardian, English is a first lieutenant in the US Army and part of a military program that develops elite “soldier-athletes” with the goal of giving the country's citizens “another reason to get excited about the Army.” Her father Mike was also a champion shooter. He died in 2016 during a trip to celebrate his wedding anniversary. “After he passed it was very, very hard to get back on the range because there were so many reminders,” she said. Vincent Hancock, who won a gold medal in the men’s event, helped English get back on track. “I owe him a lot for pushing me to get out there and do it.”
Shooting runs in the rest of the family as well, as armywcap.com puts it. The website stated that "her father and uncle were both US Running Target National Team members and Olympic Training Center resident athletes. Her mother and aunt Kim had been members of one of America’s top collegiate rifle programs. Hunting and shooting were regular recreational activities for her growing up, and participation in the National Junior Olympic Rifle Program and years of practice at the Olympic Training Center sharpened her skills. Today, she competes and trains as a member of WCAP and the US Army Marksmanship Unit."
Congratulations to Colorado’s own Lieutenant Amber English, who won gold and set an Olympic Record in women’s skeet shooting.— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) July 26, 2021
It’d be an honor to go the range with you once you get back.
Being in the army helped the English work under pressure. Army Reserve 1st Lt. English told Military Families Magazine, “One of the things I’ve learned since joining the military is that these people that I’m surrounded by, whether they’re shooting or whether deployed, whatever their job is in the military, they still have to figure out how to get the job done,” English said. “You just have to let yourself do the right thing at the right time. You have the tools. Just knowing that you’ve prepared for it and done so much.” In 2017, she became a logistics officer and joined the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia. She trained for the 2020 Olympics for years, she said. "I was geared up to make the ’16 team and then had some hurdles to get through,” she said. “It’s been a long time coming. They say, generally, to build an Olympic athlete from start to finish is around 10 years,” English said. “I know I’m capable of it. And I’m surrounded by enough people to have that support to go get it done. They’ve pushed me daily to be in that environment.”