“In the past two months, I’ve been in two different countries—Germany and South Korea. In what other sport can you do that?” asks Alexis Lagan, rising star in the world of Women's 10m Air Pistol and Women's 25m Sport Pistol. This recent college graduate now finds herself training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
NRA Family: When people ask you what you do, what do you say?
Alexis Lagan: I’m an Olympic pistol shooter. It’s something that not a lot of people know about, but it’s a wonderful sport that allows people of all ages, backgrounds, shapes and sizes to be involved in. This Olympic sport provides me the opportunity to travel the world representing the USA.
NRA Family: What’s your history in the shooting sports?
Alexis Lagan: My dad, grandpa and uncle are in law enforcement. My mom’s father was in the military, and I was raised with firearms. My first competition was in a hunter safety class when I was 10. I had to have special permission to take it since the age group of the class was 12 to 18. I ended up beating all the boys in rifle shooting and even sent one home crying. I got into the international style of shooting when I started college at the University of Utah. I saw that the marksmanship team was recruiting. I signed up, went down to the basement, and tried it out. I called my dad afterwards and said, "This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. They’re using BB guns!" My dad told me to give it another shot, and by the end of the week, I was completely addicted. It struck me on a competitive level. I needed to beat the boys again, and I had so much fun doing it. It’s been history ever since.
NRA Family: What did you take away from your last competition (Germany)? What is a strength and what is a weakness?
Alexis Lagan: When I was in Germany, I was really sick. I had a head cold and couldn’t hear out of my right ear for three days. I had other stresses from a recent move and other personal stuff, and yet I was able to overcome and shot good scores. That was a strength—learning that I can overcome whatever I need to shoot a good score. My weakness is that I need to have more compassion for myself. I’m still a new face and a young, developing shooter. Sometimes, I chastise myself for not being the best at this point. It’s good to have that desire, but not good to criticize myself.
NRA Family: Do you consider yourself to be an ambassador for the shooting sports? If so, why?
Alexis Lagan: Yes. I love being able to represent my sport and my country. In all the things that I do, I am representing the shooting sports. I’m not just an ambassador when in a competition or at a show, specifically representing USA Shooting. I also feel that I’m an ambassador in my everyday life. You never know when someone will recognize you or be watching your example. Some of my biggest friends, fans and supporters come from Boulder City and from my church family.
NRA Family: Have you encouraged or inspired other young women whom you know to try shooting? Do you have any stories about that?
Alexis Lagan: I’ve had some girls thank me for being kind and helping them achieve their goals. For me, it’s difficult to hear that because I feel that everyone should be kind. Some girls reached out to me and thanked me for helping them through a competition. Normally, you wouldn’t think that you’d help your competitors, but it’s not about trying to beat someone down; it’s about being the best. I believe I am at my best when I can teach, lead by example, and show compassion for others. I want to compete with someone because she’s the best and that makes me better each time.
NRA Family: What guns do you shoot in competition?
Alexis Lagan: For Air Pistol, it’s a Pardini K12 Absorber, in .177 caliber. For Sport Pistol, it’s a Pardini Sport Pistol in .22 caliber.
NRA Family: What does the future hold for you?
Alexis Lagan: I recently graduated from the University of Utah, with a bachelor’s degree in Pre-Law Physics. For now, I’m going to focus on shooting until the next Olympics. If I feel strong about going for another quad, then I’ll go for it. If it just isn’t in the cards, then I’ll look at furthering my education in law school with the goal of becoming a patent lawyer.
NRA Family: Is there a particular discipline in shooting sports that you’d like to try?
Alexis Lagan: I would like to try my hand at shotgun. I have a shotgun roomie. Occasionally, we go and play around with that a bit. Outside of the Olympic sports, I’ve been interested in 3-Gun and Practical Shooting. My dad, being a police officer, has done some practical training situations with me, and it’s piqued my interest. Also, I’ve always wanted to try hunting.
NRA Family: Usually, young people get tremendous support from family members … what’s your story?
Alexis Lagan: My mom and dad, Jill and Barry Lagan, have always been very supportive. Financial sponsors are few and far between in this sport, so their contributions have been essential. My paternal grandfather, Barry Lagan, Sr., was the first one on the "Lexi train" and he has been my biggest champion. He’s always one of the first calls. My little sister is on Team Lexi, and is more than happy to share my social media and be the first one to comment on all my posts.
NRA Family: How many hours a day are you training?
Alexis Lagan: I normally train in the mornings for three hours, do a workout for two hours daily, and then psychological work—reading or meditation. That’s up to six hours of training for myself, then I help with USA Shooting as an assistant. I’m at the range from dawn to dusk at least five days a week.
NRA Family: What else do you like to do when you’re not training or shooting?
Alexis Lagan: I like to go camping. It’s where I feel happiest. I love to play tennis and had the opportunity to play all through high school. As a member of the LDS Church, I am involved in many church activities. We have the opportunity to do many community service projects and assist the homeless. My beliefs and these activities help form the well-rounded person I strive to be.