By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
CAMP PERRY, Ohio – -(AmmoLand.com)- Back in June, Moira Antal, 14, of Bealeton, Va., helped make history as she became the first Paralympic athlete to compete at the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) Three-Position Air Rifle National Championship, held at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry, Ohio.
“It’s very fun,” she said with a laugh, speaking of competing in air rifle. “It’s calming. When I shoot, I zone out and let my mind run off wherever it wants, and I just shoot – that’s it.”
Moira has arthrogryposis, a congenital joint contracture that has affected her since birth. She’s also missing two major muscle groups, a bicep and quadricep on her left side, and through the years has additionally developed arthritis, with 10 surgeries to date.
“Her doctor said she would never walk, but here she is,” explained her mother, Wendy, as she looked at Moira and smiled. “She doesn’t like to be told, ‘No.’”
This year was Moira’s first traveling and competing in marksmanship, having joined the sport about two years ago and even becoming qualified as an NRA coach for other Paralympic athletes. During this initial test of real air rifle competition, Moira traveled to and competed in the first-ever Junior Paralympics in Colorado Springs back in April – hand-picked as one of three to participate in the event.
And, from that trip, she brought home some hardware – one silver and one bronze medal.
She went on to compete in the Virginia Junior Olympic 3PAR State Championship before qualifying for the CMP National Championship in the summer of 2018.