Southeast Kansas native to compete in 2024 Olympics

WALNUT, Kan. — In Walnut, Kansas, a town with a population of just 187 people, Derrick Mein perfects his craft as an Olympic trap shooter.

Despite Mein’s success, his story of becoming an Olympian included many challenges. An Olympic hopeful in 2008, Mein would just barely miss qualification. Mein said his heartbreaking experience in 2008 would drive him to compete.

“At that time I wasn’t putting in the effort that I am now, and I kind of regret that a little bit,” Mein said.

“It drives me now in trying to give myself the best chance to win a medal at the games.”

With targets moving at highway speeds, Mein’s precision breaks them on contact. A tough sport brings about a tough competition, but his family supports him every day.

“He’s an amazing dad,” said Derrick Mein’s wife, Diana.

“He’s a great husband, and he makes sure to dedicate time to his family. We’re supporting him and pushing him because we know he’s that good.”

Mein would win gold in the ISSF world championships in 2022 and 2023. From Tokyo to now Paris in 2024, Mein’s Olympic journey continues.

Despite a desire to win, Mein said having the shot at representing his country matters the most.

“Getting to hear the national anthem play, while you’re standing on top of the podium, is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my life,” said Mein.

“Getting to represent the United States is a huge honor.”

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