Stetson Bardfield earned a gold medal in the R5 Mixed Air Rifle Prone SH2 event at the 2023 Parapan America Games in Santiago, Chile, on Monday, November 20, successfully defending his title from the 2019 Parapan American Games.
“I am feeling amazing,” Bardfield, a Tokyo Paralympian said. “I was definitely a little anxious at the beginning. I have a lot of worthy competitors, but I stuck to my shot plan, and it ended up carrying me through.”
Bardfield shot a final score of 253.4, breaking the Parapan American Games record that he previously set back in 2019. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympian triumphed over Alexandre Galgani of Brazil, who finished second. When Bardfield and Galgani were the last two competitors in the R5 Mixed Air Rifle Prone SH2 final, there were just two single shots left to take. Bardfield only had a 0.1-point lead before the final two shots.
“I was just trying to hold on,” Bardfield said. “At any time a shot can go wrong, and any person can take [the lead] from you in an instant. It was a very intense experience.”
Bardfield mentioned that he could feel his heart beating fast, but that his mindset was to just do as best as he can and see where it goes from there. This approach paid off, as he has now earned back-to-back Parapan American Games titles. Bardfield earned his first title at the 2019 Lima Parapan American Games.
“These games were definitely more intense for me,” Bardfield said. “Lima was great but this time the scores and competition were higher.”
Bardfield’s favorite part about Santiago was the athlete village. He enjoyed the camaraderie from all the sports and countries present.
“It was an absolutely incredible experience,” Bardfield said. “It has been an honor to represent Team USA and I hope to do it again in Paris.”
USA Shooting earned a total of seven medals at the 2023 Parapan American Games.
- YanXiao Gong: Gold, Mixed P3 25m Sport Pistol SH1
- Marco De La Rosa: Silver, Mixed P3 25m Sport Pistol SH1
- Mike Tagliapietra: Bronze, Mixed P3 25m Sport Pistol SH1
- Marco De La Rosa: Gold, P3 Men’s Air Pistol SH1
- YanXiao Gong: Bronze, P3 Men’s Air Pistol SH1
- Stetson Bardfield: Gold, R5 Mixed Air Rifle Prone SH2
- Kevin Nguyen: Bronze, R6 Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1
For official results and scores from the 2023 Parapan American Games, go to this link.
USA Shooting would like to thank the NRA Foundation, a platinum-level sponsor, for its support of the team. Contributions from the NRA Foundation are helping U.S. athletes post podium finishes at the 2023 Parapan American Games.