On Saturday, Hoang Xuan Vihn made history by winning Vietnam’s first Olympic gold medal in the men’s 10-meter air pistol.
He did so in dramatic fashion – by firing a near perfect final shot and edging out Felipe Almeida Wu of Brazil by just 0.4 points!
A 41 year-old army colonel in Vietnam, Hoang learned how to shoot by practicing on AK47 rifles. Now that he has accomplished this historical feat for Vietnam, he is expected to receive $131,000 from his home country upon his return, according to Vietnamese state media. That’s quite a hefty sum when you consider that the average annual income in Vietnam is only around $2,760.
“I’m very lucky, it’s the first gold medal in Vietnam’s history, I feel very lucky, thank you everybody,” said Hoang at a press conference. He added, “Making this gold medal is a life memory, I’ll never forget this. Because [it is the] first time making a gold medal for Vietnam.”
This gold medal is only the third medal won by Vietnam since it began competing in the Olympics in 1952. It has previously won two silver medals – one in Taekwondo in the 2000 Games in Sydney and one in weightlifting in the 2008 Games in Beijing.
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