Sofia Ceccarello Eyeing Second Olympic Games with New Perspective

Sofia Ceccarello Eyeing Second Olympic Games with New Perspective

by Drew Johnson

Kentucky rifle standout Sofia Ceccarello has been an elite shooter for a very long time. Starting at the age of 12, Ceccarello grew to fall in love with the unique and individual sport that is rifle.

“(I enjoyed) the couple of hours where I could just be myself with my mind,” Ceccarello said. “I think there was something I was looking for, like a sort of meditation.”

The Italian shooting star found success in the sport from a young age, too, qualifying for the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo at just 18 years old, having made finals in the European Championships and beating all the shooters who hadn’t already qualified for the Olympics. The young sensation was so naive to her success, she almost didn’t even know she had qualified at all.

“When I qualified for the Olympics the first time, I basically didn’t even know how the process worked,” Ceccarello said. “I competed not knowing how the process worked and then I made a final and they were like ‘yeah you could technically qualify for the Olympics if you (get fourth).”

Fast forward three years later, and Ceccarello is looking to qualify for her second Olympic games, this time the 2024 games in Paris, France.

While the now 21-year-old is undoubtedly smarter and more experienced since her last Olympic qualification, she no longer has ignorant bliss on her side, and she knows that.

“I don’t always believe that knowing the process is helpful,” Ceccarello said.

But what Ceccarello does have is the maturity to attack this new Olympic push with a healthy mindset. Instead of getting caught up in the numbers, she’s focusing on what made her enjoy the sport in the first place.

“I think sometimes when we grow up we forget those feelings because we focus so much on the result,” Ceccarello said. “So, you sort of get stuck in this mentality where numbers and performances are very important and you forget why you actually started doing this for, what you actually liked the most about this sport.”

Not only does this approach allow for an athlete to have more fun, but Ceccarello says it actually helps her perform better as well.

“If I go into the match with the mentality of ‘I really have to perform otherwise I don’t qualify’, it’s just going to make things worse,” Ceccarello said. “So, I’m just trying to go there and enjoy being there, enjoy the sport again.”

Ceccarello has two more opportunities coming up to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Whether she qualifies or not, it’s safe to say this new perspective allows Ceccarello to accept any outcome that comes her way.


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