First Gamecock to Represent Team USA in the Olympics


Former Gamecock Rifle standout James Hall, pictured here in 2004, will compete in Tokyo in the Air Pistol event. Photo by Steve Latham.

by Buffy Lockette and Josh Underwood

More than 11,000 athletes from 200 nations will compete in the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo on July 23-August 8. Among them will be the first JSU Gamecock to represent Team USA.

Alumnus James Hall earned a spot on the US Olympic Team in the sport of Air Pistol, becoming the second former JSU athlete to compete in the Olympics after golfer Danny Willett, who competed for his native UK in 2016’s Rio Games, placing 37th in the world. Nursing student Janet Cherobon-Bawcom ran the 10,000-meter for the USA Track and Field team at the 2021 London Olympics, finishing 12th. 

James Hall, in a team photo provided by USA ShootingHall was a member of the JSU Rifle Team from 2003-2006, leading the Gamecocks to a NCAA Smallbore National Championship. He received elite honors as an NRA All-American all four years and was named the Conference Smallbore and Air Rifle Most Valuable Player in 2005 and 2006. 

"Being on the Rifle team during those years was some of the best memories that I have," Hall said. "We had some really good teams while I was there and it was some dynamic teams. I feel very blessed that I had an opportunity at JSU and the opportunities that rifle gave me."

After a successful NCAA rifle career, Hall coached at JSU as a graduate assistant and a volunteer before picking up pistol shooting as an athlete. He made his first attempt at the Olympic Team in 2012 and again in 2016, barely missing his spot on the 2016 Rio Olympic Team – where Willett became JSU’s first former student-athlete to compete in the games.

Hall earned a bachelor’s degree in 2006 in computer integrated manufacturing systems and resides in Missouri with his family. 

The Men's 10M Air Pistol qualifier will be held on July 23 at 11 p.m., followed by the final competition at 1:30 a.m. (Central Time). The Olympics will be broadcast on NBC, and the NBC Sports app. View the complete Olympic Shooting schedule on the Tokyo 2020 website. For more information about Hall, check out his USA Shooting profile

Update, July 26, 2021: James Hall placed 10th in the world at the Tokyo Summer Games.