By Brittany Nelson, USAS Public Relations & Communications Manager
COLO SPGS, CO (Nov. 2, 2023) –USA Shooting shotgun, rifle, and pistol athletes earned a grand total of 18 medals and three U.S. Olympic quota slots for Paris 2024 at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 21-27.
Our 18 medals earned USA the title of top ranked country for shooting sports. Our five gold, five silver, and eight bronze medals doubled the total medal count of the second ranked country, Mexico, who finished with eight.
The Pan American Games is a continental multi-sport event held in the Americas every four years in the year before the Summer Olympic Games. The competition features athletes from nations of the Americas.
Vincent Hancock, three-time Olympic gold medalist, represented the U.S. in the Pan American Games opening ceremony as one of the nation’s flag bearers. This marked the first time a shooting sport athlete carried the flag in the ceremony.
“To carry that flag meant more to me than anything else I have ever done,” said Hancock, a 23-time World Cup Medalist. “Representing the country is far different than representing yourself.”
Sagen Maddalena, 2020 Olympian, earned the coveted title of Pan American Games Champion by securing a gold medal in Women’s 10m Air Rifle on the first official day of shooting events, Oct. 21. Maddalena’s victory marked the first shooting medal for America at the Games. The Sgt. in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, (USAMU), set a new Pan American Games finals record with a score of 249.5.
Hancock claimed his first gold medal of the 2023 Games in Men’s Skeet Oct. 22. Hancock’s victory makes him a three-time Pan American Games Champion. Hancock, a four-time World Champion, secured his spot in the finals after shooting a perfect 125/125 targets in the qualification round. His flawless score set a new qualification Pan American Games record and tied the qualification world record.
Hancock went on to earn his second gold medal with teammate Dania Vizzi in the Mixed Team Skeet event Oct. 23. They edged out Mexico, who earned silver.
Mary Tucker, 2020 Olympic silver medalist, earned herself the title of Pan American Games Champion in Women’s 50m Smallbore Rifle. Tucker secured her gold with a final score of 458.4, setting a new Pan American Games finals record. Tucker, a two-time World Championship medalist, claimed her second gold medal with teammate Rylan Kissel in Mixed Team Air Rifle.
U.S. Olympic quota slots for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games were also on the line at the Pan American Games. Henry Leverett secured a quota in Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol by earning bronze in the event Oct. 22. This is the second time Leverett has earned the Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol quota for the country. He earned one for the U.S. back in 2018 for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Pistol continued their success when Alexis “Lexi” Lagan claimed a quota for the U.S. in Women’s 10m Air Pistol by earning a silver medal in the event Oct. 26.
Rachel Tozier, a Staff Sgt. in the USAMU, earned the third quota of the competition in Women’s Trap. She secured the quota by winning bronze in the event. The U.S. shotgun team has now secured all eight of their Olympic quotas for Paris 2024 making us the first country with all slots filled in the discipline.
At the Pan American Games, each event consisted of a qualification round and a final or bronze/gold medal match. USA Shooting athletes qualified and participated in 17 out of the 19 total finals and medaled in 15 of them.
The haul our shooting athletes achieved contributed to USA’s overall Pan American Games medal count. As of Nov. 2, USA is ranked number one with 202 medals, putting us above the number two country, Brazil, who currently has 141.
Our partners and sponsors, to include The NRA Foundation, Safari Club International, The International Order of T. Roosevelt, Hillsdale College, The MidwayUSA Foundation, ELEY, Patriot Mobile, Nine Line Apparel, Hillsdale College, NSSF, Glassen Foundation, USCCA, Ruger, White Flyer, Talo Distributors, Winchester, SKB Cases, Spandau, Bone-Dri, Shoot the Moon, Mega Link, MEC, Pardini, Krieghoff, and Rock Island Auction Company have been a huge support for this successful 2023 Pan American Games Team. Total medal count includes the following:
- Vincent Hancock: Gold, Men’s Skeet
- Sagen Maddalena: Gold, Women’s 10m Air Rifle
- Mary Tucker: Bronze, Women’s 10m Air Rifle
- Rylan Kissell: Silver, Men’s 10m Air Rifle
- Henry Leverett: Bronze, Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol (secured the U.S. an Olympic quota for Paris)
- Rylan Kissell & Mary Tucker: Gold, Mixed 10m Air Rifle Team
- Sagen Maddalena & Gavin Barnick: Bronze, Mixed 10m Air Rifle Team
- Vincent Hancock & Dania Vizzi: Gold, Mixed Skeet Team
- Dustan Taylor & Austen Smith: Bronze, Mixed Skeet Team
- Lexi Lagan: Bronze, Women’s 25m Sport Pistol
- Mary Tucker: Gold, Women’s 50m Smallbore Rifle
- Sagen Maddalena: Silver, Women’s 50m Smallbore Rifle
- Lexi Lagan: Silver, Women’s 10m Air Pistol (secured the U.S. an Olympic quota for Paris)
- James Hall: Silver, Men’s 10m Air Pistol
- Rachel Tozier: Bronze, Women’s Trap Pistol (secured the U.S. an Olympic quota for Paris)
- Tim Sherry: Silver, Men’s 50m Smallbore Rifle
- Lucas Kozeniesky: Bronze, Men’s 50m Smallbore Rifle
- Nick Mowrer & Lisa Emmert Traciak: Bronze, Mixed Team Air Pistol
View all Pan American Games results here: https://results-santiago2023.org/#/discipline/SHO/reports
View photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usashooting/albums/72177720312048546
With eighteen medals and three U.S. Olympic quotas earned, the team is making strides on their Path to Paris 2024. All three disciplines, rifle, pistol, and shotgun, have completed part one of their Olympic Trials. Click here for results.
USA Shooting athletes now have a total of eighteen quotas slots for Pairs. When a shooting athlete earns a quota for the U.S. in a specific event, the U.S. then becomes eligible to have an athlete compete in said event at the Olympic Games. Athletes are only eligible to earn one event quota in a four-year Olympic cycle.
Up next for USA Shooting is the ParaPan American Games, Nov. 17-26. Ten athletes will be headed to Santiago, Chile for their shot at earning championship titles and U.S. Paralympic quotas.
Follow @USAShooting on social media for competition results and updates.