For her third time representing her country in the Olympics, trap shooter Ray Bassil is aiming to return to Lebanon with a medal around her neck.
After shining in multiple international championships since her participation in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, Bassil is ready to excel at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“My goal is to win an Olympic medal, not just take part,” the 32-year-old athlete told AFP. “[I want to] bring some joy to the people of my country.”
Lebanon’s last Olympic medal was a bronze medal won by Lebanese wrestler Hassan Bechara all the way back in the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, in Greco-Roman wrestling.
Bassil, who won gold at the International Shooting Sport Federation 2016 World Cup, has been involved in her sport since the age of 14 when she would go out with her father on shooting trips.
Now in Tokyo, she is less than a week away from bringing her many years of experience to the biggest sports event of the year, motivated to win Lebanon’s first medal in 41 years and that in spite of the rough conditions her homeland is going through.
“I know the situation in Lebanon is really bad. People are tired and we’re all mentally exhausted. But I don’t want that to affect me,” she told AFP, arguing that sports might bring hope to crisis-hit Lebanon.