We recently had the opportunity to speak with Alexis “Lexi” Lagan Peterson, Olympian. She spoke to us about her experiences in Tokyo and her plans for the future.
Her trip to to Tokyo began with a flight from Denver to San Francisco and then on Tokyo. There was additional paperwork and more permits required since she was traveling with firearms to a country where residents are largely not permitted to own firearms. Due to COVID-19, athletes were only allowed to be in Japan approximately 4-5 days prior to their first event and had to leave within 48 hours.
Lexi’s path to the Olympics was an unusual one by most standards. While she grew up shooting as a hobby with her family, it wasn’t until she went to college at the University of Utah that the seeds of competition were sown. As part of becoming more involved in campus life, she decided to join the marksmanship club with coach Matt DeLong. It began as something fun to do as she pursued her degree. Her coach quickly realized her skill and encouraged her to spend more time training for competitive shooting. in 2015 she was attending school full time, working part-time and practicing up to 30 hours a week at the range!! Her hard work paid off and she was selected as an alternate to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero. In 2017 she moved to Colorado Springs, CO to train at the US Olympic Training Site.
As part of her Tokyo experience, she enjoyed her time in the Olympic Village. She got to participate in the Opening Ceremony, which she aptly described as “beautiful”. The Olympic Village was interesting and entertaining and the people there were very kind and welcoming. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the athletes weren’t able to tour Tokyo. The bus ride to and from her event venue was the extent of her “sightseeing”.
She praised the range constructed for competition and said it was one of the most attractive ranges she’d ever participated on. “The lighting was gorgeous and the aesthetic was beautiful,” Lexi said. She was disappointed to learn, like many Olympic venues, it was only a temporary facility and would be torn down after the Olympic Games.
Competition was unusual due to the fact there were no crowds. The lack of ambient noise meant that individual conversations were more audible, which was a change for her. She ended her competition just four points from the finals and close to her personal best.
Lexi appreciated all the support from Team Lagan back in the United States. She received so many letters of support and posters and coloring pages that were sent to her. She even shared some with athletes who didn’t have any!
When she returned to the United States and Boulder City, a party was thrown in her honor at Boulder Creek Golf Course. There she mingled with fans and other guests, signing autographs and posing for photographs. She also spoke with people about her experiences. If you see her while she’s still in town, you can ask her if she has any athlete cards with her photo and autograph!
Right now, she’s already preparing for her next competition: the ISSF President’s Cup in Warsaw, Poland on November 12. She is the first American woman to qualify for the 25m Sport Pistol Division. Only 12 athletes are selected for this honor!
Looking ahead a bit further, Lexi hopes to qualify and compete in the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France. Because there’s only 3 years until those Olympics, the training and competition will be more intense. We have a lot of confidence she can accomplish any objective she sets her mind to! To stay up-to-date with her progress, be sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! GO LEXI!! 🇺🇸