Photo: San Marino fan account/Twitter

San Marino Becomes the Smallest Country to Ever Win an Olympic Medal

by Olivia Harden Jul 30, 2021

San Marino made history at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 when Alessandra Perilli shot right on target and won the first Olympic medal for the country. Hitting 29 of the 50 targets in the final for trap shooting, Perilli earned a bronze medal in women’s trap for her small country.

Made up of only 34,000 people, San Marino is now the smallest country by population to ever win an Olympic medal. The picturesque republic completely surrounded by Italy — and lying due east of Florence — measures only 23 square miles.

While the first rounds involve shooting at 125 targets, competitors get one shot each at 50 targets. Perilli’s third-place finish this year is a comeback after placing fourth in the 2012 Olympics. USA’s Kayle Browning won the silver, while Slovakia’s Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova took gold, with her record-breaking 43 on-target hits.

“During the final, when the fifth shooter went out, I thought, I don’t want to be one more time in fourth place, so I have to make it,” Perilli told journalists, reported CNN. “This is the first medal for me and for my country. We are a small country but very proud,” she said after the medal ceremony. “They [country] are for sure going crazy, crying. I don’t know, but for sure now they are.”

The country only entered five competitors this year. It has mostly entered shooters since it joined the games in 1960.

“There was no pressure, but only support from my country, from my team, from my federation and the Olympic committee,” she said.

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