COLORADO SPRINGS — 20-year-old Will Shaner is a Colorado Springs native and Olympian who took home the gold medal in the men's 10-meter air rifle competition on Sunday. Not only did he win the gold medal, but he also set an Olympic record.
Shaner's parents told News5 that his remarkable Olympic debut is something he's been working toward the majority of his life. "You've got a kid that's been in 4-H, been through the Junior Olympic Program, been on the US National Team, and now the dream, the dream that you've always wanted for them and that they've always wanted, is a reality. And we cried, cried a lot," said Gregory Shaner, Will's father, about the moment his son made the Olympic team.
Shaner's parents said he was born in Colorado Springs, and learned how to shoot while the family lived on the Western Slope. The Shaners moved back to Colorado Springs when Will was a teenager, which is where he trained. "All of the sudden, your child is competing against those that are the best in the world," said Gregory.
The Shaners planned on going to Tokyo to watch Will compete, but were not allowed to go because of COVID-19 precautions. "It's your kid in the Olympics, of course you want to be there... Because you just want to hug your kid, you just want to just grab them and hug them and love them, and you're an ocean apart," said Gregory.
Will attends college in Kentucky, where his mother says he will be studying business. He is scheduled to fly back to Colorado this week, and his family is excited to celebrate his win.