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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
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Woman in shooting range, looking back over her shoulder, smiling

McKenna Dahl

Shooting
1

McKenna Dahl is one of an exciting new crop of shooters to come out of the USA in recent years.

She became the first US woman to win a medal in the sport at a Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Her bronze in R5 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2) propelled her into the media spotlight and represented her best performance.

Maintaining her form has been challenging. At the 2018 World Championships in Cheongju, South Korea; Dahl did not make it to the finals of her three rifle events, nor at the following World Cup in Chateauroux, France.

But the young rifle athlete should not be counted out for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

In 2014, as a teenager, Dahl made a significant step toward achieving her dream of competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, securing a quota place for the USA at the World Championships in Suhl, Germany.

Her performance was no doubt helped by a move that same year to the US Olympic and Paralympic training centre in Colorado Springs, where the country’s brightest Para athletes gather to live and train.

Then in 2015 Dahl competed at three World Cups, with her best finish coming from a 13th place in R5 on home soil in Fort Benning.

A rifle specialist, Dahl focuses her efforts on R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2) and R5.

That focus paid off at Rio 2016 when Dahl won a historic bronze in R5.

At the age of 12, Dahl tried shooting for the first time at a summer camp. Originally a wheelchair basketball player, she preferred shooting because it was an individual sport.

While living in Colorado Springs, Dahl takes online courses in business and technology management and a specialisation in criminal justice at DeVry university with a vision of becoming a lawyer.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
SH2, SH1

Further personal information

Family
Partner Daniel Geer
Residence
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
English
Higher education
Business - DeVry University: Downers Grove, IL, USA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up shooting at age 12 in Washington, United States of America.
Why this sport?
She was introduced to the sport while at a summer sports camp. She originally played wheelchair basketball, but was drawn to shooting because she preferred the individual aspect of the sport.
Name of coach
Chuck Platt [national], USA
Training Regime
She trains at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, United States of America.
Handedness
Right

General interest

Most influential person in career
Coach Dan Steffan, and her parents. (usashooting.org, 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe." (Facebook page, 03 Apr 2018)
Ambitions
To win a gold medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (paralympic.org, 17 May 2017)
Impairment
She was born with amyoplasia in her left hand and both of her feet, causing her muscles not to form properly. (dafo.com, 09 Jun 2014)
Other information
EXPANDED REPERTOIRE
In 2018 she began competing in the 50m rifle prone SH2 mixed event, after it was announced that the event would be would be added to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. "I would like to see myself be more competitive in it and understand more the logistics behind small bore because it's a lot more involved than air gun." (paralympic.org, 04 Apr 2018)

NATIONAL FIRST
She became the first female representing United States of America to win a medal in shooting at the Paralympic Games when she took bronze in the 10m air rifle prone SH2 mixed at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. (teamusa.org, 13 Sep 2016; SportsDeskOnline, 07 Dec 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2014 IPC Shooting World Championships (Suhl, Germany)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Mixed 10m Air Rifle standing SH2 Qualification 2014-07-21 20
Mixed 10m Air Rifle prone SH2 Qualification 2014-07-23 45
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
R4 - Mixed 10 m Air Rifle Standing SH2 Qualification 2016-09-10 24
R5 - Mixed 10 m Air Rifle Prone SH2 Qualification 2016-09-13 3
R5 - Mixed 10 m Air Rifle Prone SH2 Final Round 2016-09-13 3
Cheongju 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Championships (Cheongju, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
R4 - Mixed 10m Air Rifle standing SH2 Qualification 2018-05-05 36
R5 - Mixed 10m Air Rifle prone SH2 Qualification 2018-05-05 40
R9 - Mixed 50m Rifle prone SH2 Qualification 2018-05-05 16
Team R5 - Mixed 10m Air Rifle prone SH2 Qualification 2018-05-05 6