Olympic DebutAthens 1896
Most Gold MedalsCarl Osburn (USA)
From just five shooting events at the inaugural 1896 Olympic Games to the 15 today, the sport has grown steadily alongside the advance in firearms technology.
Shooting as a sport has been practised for hundreds of years in European countries, with some German shooting clubs dating back more than 500 years. The popularity of the sport grew in English-speaking countries with the formation of the National Rifle Association in 1859, which originally met in Wimbledon, London, and the National Rifle Association (USA) in 1871.
There are 15 events in the Olympic programme, divided into three different groups: rifle, pistol and shotgun. The rifle and pistol competitions are held on shooting ranges, where marksmen aim at targets at distances of 10, 25 and 50 metres. In the shotgun event, competitors shoot at clay targets propelled at a series of different directions and angles.