Nicco Campriani wins two golds in Rio Olympics


Nicco Campriani represented himself, his country and his former school in golden fashion at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The West Virginia University graduate earned two gold medals in rifle, this past week, in Brazil.

Showing that the WVU rifle team is, indeed, the best collegiate rifle team, Campriani followed up Ginny Thrasher’s gold medal on the first day of competition.

Related Story: WVU's Ginny Thrasher wins first gold medal

Thrasher gained national attention, in the United States, for just being 19-years old and achieving a great feat that many Americans can’t even fathom. Her name was plastered all over social media and television stations for quickly earning the gold in women’s 10-meter air rifle.

Her perky personality, humble attitude and focused demeanor made her a hero in the early stages of the Rio Olympics.

Nicco Campriani didn’t receive the same fanfare in the United States, at least. In Italy, he too, is a national icon.

Campriani earned a pair of gold medals over the weekend. First, he captured gold in men’s 10-meter air rifle. Then, he followed that up a few days later with the top spot in men’s 50-meter rifle.

Both accomplishments are a direct progression from his output in the 2012 Olympics, which were held in London. There, Campriani earned a silver medal.

"“It’s hard to put into words all that Nicco has achieved,” Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond said. “To go through many challenges over the last four years, including the finals format change, and then to come into the Games and make all three finals, just as he did in London, and walk away with two Gold medals is just amazing. He’s a special athlete and a special guy. Nicco has worked incredibly hard. I’m incredibly proud of him, and I know all of WVU rifle and West Virginia University are proud of him as well. Just incredible performances during this last week in Rio.”"

The individual marks are great for the shooters who have come through the WVU rifle program. It’s these singular accomplishments that fuel the success of the entire athletic program at WVU. The rifle team is arguably the most dynamic team on campus, with 18 national championships. With the 2016 title in tow, the Mountaineers have won the past four NCAA titles.

Further, each individual on the squad stands out as an excellent athlete, and great student. This past year, the team picked up 20 All-American honors.

Campriani graduated from WVU in 2011 and has continued to compete at the international level. 

With competitors like Campriani and Thrasher, the Mountaineers will continue to be the most dominate force in the Olympics, and the NCAA level. Their success will attract the best recruits from around the world to Morgantown.

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Who will be the next gold medalist with WVU ties? Someone most definitely will, sooner rather than later.