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Former Ole Miss standout Weisz's long journey to Tokyo

Weisz joined the Army in 2020 to get ready for 2021 Olympics.

After the 2020 games were postponed amidst the pandemic, Ali Weisz decided to make a major life decision while she trained for 2021.

Posted: Jul 9, 2021 8:10 PM
Updated: Jul 22, 2021 10:12 AM

FORT BENNING, Ga. (WTVA) -- When the Olympic games were postponed in 2020, one of the athletes I spoke with who already qualified for the games was former Ole Miss rifle standout Ali Weisz. When her Olympic dream was put on hold, she was in grad school at Memphis and was faced with a decision every elite athlete faces at one point or another: where is the rest of my life heading?

"It's been a wild time since we talked last," Weisz said.

Unlike some other Olympic sports, riflery doesn't offer much in terms of compensation outside of the games. When the Tokyo Olympics got postponed, Weisz decided to join the army's marksmanship unit based out of Fort Benning, Georgia. Something she was considering for a while.

"I'm not ready to give up the sport by any means, clearly, and I was also was not ready to keep postponing the rest of my life," Weisz said. "I kind of planned on doing it after the Olympics had they been last summer, but after the postponement, it was now or never really."

Instead of trying to find a way to fit rifle into her life, her literal job is to train for competitions and bring medals home for the Army. Weisz's dream was to go to the Olympics since she was a little kid, while doing so with the army may not have been in the vision, she knew she would compete on the world's stage. And she'll do so representing Ole Miss, the Army and Team USA.

"It's remarkable, honorable, I think the biggest thing I'm feeling is I hope I can represent all three in the best way possible," Weisz said, "Not just in my athletic performance, but just me as a person."

Weisz signed a four contract with the Army. She said she wants to stay with her unit through the 2024 Olympics as well, but first things first, win gold in Tokyo in the air rifle events. The women's air rifle team will compete on Saturday, July 24th at 4:30 PM Japanese Time which is...2:30 AM Central Time.

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