West Virginia rifle star Mary Tucker qualifies for 2024 Olympic Games in 50-meter Smallbore Rifle


It's going to be a busy summer for West Virginia fifth-year shooter Mary Tucker.

Tucker, a 2020 Tokyo Olympic Silver Medalist in the 10-meter air rifle mixed-team event, had already secured herself a trip to the 2024 Paris Olympics, earning a spot representing Team USA in the 10-meter air rifle competition. On Tuesday, Tucker competed in Part 3 of the USA Shooting 50-meter Smallbore Rifle Olympic Trials and finished second overall -- good enough for her advance to Paris in that event as well.

Tucker, a Sarasota, Fla. native, is no stranger to international competition -- she already has made her Olympic debut. She competed at Tokyo 2020 in both the individual and mix-team 10-meter air rifles events, helping secure a silver medal in the mixed-team competition. Since then, however, she has secured first-place finishes at the international level, most recently taking home the gold medal at the 2023 Pan American Games in the 50-meter Smallbore Rifle.

Headed into the competition at Paris, Tucker is dialing in on the mental aspect of her sport. She understands shooting is a discipline that requires the correct mindset to succeed, so mental health is her utmost focus.

“Sports psychology is something I talk about a lot with my therapist,” Tucker said during an interview in February. “Shooting is such a mental sport that all of us have things we do (to maintain our mental health). I’m confident in my mentality, but I try to see what different perspectives there are.”

Recently, Tucker has been staying overseas in Czech Republic to train with her coach, four-time U.S. Olympian Matt Emmons. As she prepares for next international opportunity, she is intent on making a legacy for herself.

"I want to be one of the sport’s legends — and hopefully I can bring shooting to the general public a little bit more," she said. "And I want to bring perspectives surrounding mental health and healthy thinking into sports because that is super important too. That’s something I want, because this is a really great sport.”

Tucker is 20th overall member of the WVU rifle program to compete in Olympic competition and the 14th to represent the United States at the games. The 2024 Olympic Games are set to run from July 26th to August 11th in Paris.