TWIN FALLS — The mother of an Olympic shooter now has her own sights set on 2020.
But this time, she intends to compete in the Games herself.
“I have a naturally competitive spirit,” Susan Brown said.
In June, Susan Brown and 2016 Olympic shooter Will Brown became the first mother-and-son teammates on the USA Shooting National Team. It’s a step that Susan Brown hopes will help take her to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“I’m just going to jump in with both feet and give it all I’ve got,” she said.
Susan Brown, 55, earned a bronze medal in women’s air pistol at the 2017 USA Shooting National Championships June 29. Will Brown earned bronze in men’s air pistol, securing his spot on the team once again. During the annual competition, the top three finishers in every discipline make the national team.
“I’ve been on the national team since 2010,” Will Brown said.
The 25-year-old shot air pistol and 50-meter free pistol at the 2016 Olympics. He placed 12th in men’s air pistol and 10th in free pistol — an event that has since been eliminated.
Susan Brown, a longtime hunter, began shooting pistols in 2004 when her family faced a problem with wolves at their cabin in Hailey. But she didn’t get into air pistol, a precision sport, until 2011.
“Will got me started,” she said. “I’ve got a really good hold. That’s the key to precision shooting, is having a really good hold and good form.”
The pair have been shooting together at events several times a year.
Joining the USA Shooting team allows Susan Brown to attend qualifying matches for world cups.
“I knew she was good enough as far as her ability,” Will Brown said. “But it also depends on the competition.”
This is not the first time USA Shooting has had a parent and child as teammates, the organization said in a press release. In the 1980s, Lones Wigger and his daughter, Deena, competed together — and were also teammates at the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela.
The Browns have a 33-foot complete regulation air gun range in their basement. Susan Brown said she will be going down there more frequently now for practice.
“That’s the one thing about the shooting sports is that it’s not age limiting,” she said.
Susan and Will Brown both competed at the Championships of the Americas in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2014 — when Will took gold in men’s air pistol. Susan had been competing to earn a minimum qualifying score for the Olympics.
“Will and I have shot together before,” she said. “But there’s no chance of me beating him.”