The 2020 Paralympics commences on August 24, and concludes on Sept. 5, 2021. Tune in on August 30 to see these exceptional athletes in action as they represent the United States on the 2020 U.S. Paralympic Shooting Team.
Hometown: Castilla, Ohio
Residence: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Events: R2- Women's 10m Air Rifle SH1, R3- 10m Air Rifle Prone, R6- 50m Rifle Prone SH1, R8- Women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1
Taylor Farmer took up pistol shooting after accompanying her father to a local range in 2012, where she fired a gun for the first time. She soon took up pistol shooting at a local gun club, where she says she would not leave until she shot all 500 rounds out of the box. Three years later, began competing in Air Rifle, meeting Greg Drown, a former standout and captain of the Ohio State University Rifle Team who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis later in life. Drown later competed in para shooting sports from a wheelchair. In 2017, just a year after graduating high school, Taylor was named to the National Team and in 2018, moved to Colorado Springs to train at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center as a resident athlete. That same year, she was named the USA Shooting Paralympic Athlete of the Year.
Taylor won a U.S. quota with her 2nd place finish at the World Championships in 2019 and Tokyo 2020 will be her first Paralympic Games experience.
Jazmin “Jaz” Almlie-Ryan has been affiliated with the USA Shooting Team and Team USA for more than 10 years, starting with her first training camp in 2011 and officially named to the National Team in 2013. Jaz has won two Paralympic quotas for Team USA, the first in 2016 and again in 2020.
She was introduced to shooting sports at an event called “Metal and Muscle Expo” in Houston Texas, where various sports are featured simultaneously. Jaz was there to play in a wheelchair basketball tournament when her last game was cancelled. With nothing on her agenda that afternoon, Jaz entered the scheduled air rifle competition—and won. From there, she was invited to the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center for a novice training camp, and as she says, the rest is history.
Jaz enjoys playing different adaptive sports like wheelchair rugby and is known to clock more than 10 miles a day speed pushing around her neighborhood. When not training, Jaz enjoys spending time at home with her husband Matthew and daughter, Rebekah.
Tokyo 2020 will be Jaz’s second Paralympic Games appearance.
Hometown: Arlington, Washington
Residence: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Events: R4 - Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH2, R5 – Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH2, Falling Target Rifle SH2
Facebook: McKenna Dahl Twitter: @KennaDahl
When McKenna Geer was 5 years old, she started attending Camp Access, a camp to introduce children with disabilities to the outdoors, and taught them that anything was possible for them. At age 12, she had the opportunity to shoot as a camp activity where the director, Ernie Butler, took notice and invited her to shoot an NRA sectional match later that spring. With the support of her parents and grandparents, Geer shortly thereafter competed in her first NRA National competition. McKenna’s scores from NRA Junior Nationals put her on the radar of the Paralympic National Coach at the time, and just a year and a half after that shooting activity at Camp Access, she was invited to her first Paralympic Camp at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center.
A week after graduating high school, McKenna became a full-time resident athlete at the OPTC. In 2016, she won a bronze medal in the R5 event at the Rio Paralympic Games, becoming the first U.S. female Paralympic athlete to win a Paralympic medal in the sport of shooting, and the fifth Paralympic medal for USA Shooting overall.
McKenna continues to train at the OPTC and works as an athlete on the guest experience team at the Olympic and Paralympic Museum in downtown Colorado Springs. She’s completed her Bachelors of Business and Master of Business Administration through DeVry University. Tokyo 2020 will be McKenna’s second Paralympic appearance.
Geer says she hopes to use shooting to change the lives of other children with disabilities, just as hers was changed by her mentors at Camp Access. McKenna hopes to become a mentor that the next generation of kids can look up to and show them all that life has to offer.