Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Mary Carolynn Tucker may have failed to win gold in the 10m Air Rifle Women’s event of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup held in Bhopal, yet her smile has won the hearts of people in the Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy on Friday.
Her poise has even dulled the glitter of gold her opponent won. Even when she knew that she was going to lose, she laughed. Her cheerful gestures, charming face and cool smile made her an audience favourite. ‘A medal costs a lot to an athlete, as it should. But it should not cost you your happiness,’ Tucker told Free Press after she won a silver medal in 10-metre air rifle event for women.
When asked about her schedule, the 21-year-old Tokyo Olympic silver medallist said, ‘I shoot six hours a day. All I do is sleep.’ Asked, how did the shooting begin?’ Tucker reverted, saying, ‘In my high school there were many clubs. My mother told me that I could join any club except the shooting club, which I chose as a rebellious teen.’
Tucker shared the hardest part of her journey saying, ‘When Covid-19 shut everything down, NCAAs, school and Tokyo all in the same week. I became very depressed and could not even look at my rifles for 3 months. I came back stronger, but it was a fight.’
Tucker have interesting tattoos, like Olympic rings on one arm and flowers on the other; when asked about them, she said, ‘I drew them all by myself. The Olympic one has olive branches symbolising the wreaths many medallists are crowned with, cherry blossoms for the last games in Tokyo, and iris for the next games in Paris.’
When asked about shooting culture in USA, Tucker responded, ‘We get monetary support from our Olympic Committee, our federation supports us and we get rewarded for specific medals as well. ‘I am part of my university team. So yeah! All and all, it's good.’ When asked about MP Academy and its facilities, she stated, ‘Facilities here are great, I liked the New Delhi range but I like this one more now because it is newer. ’India is treating us well. Our flight back home got cancelled, so we might be staying here for longer.’ Tucker concluded by saying, "AS LONG AS YOU KEEP IT AS FUN, YOU'RE GOOD TO GO."
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