From Lancaster to Tokyo, Casey Kaufhold has made Team USA.

“I want the medals,” Kaufhold said. “I want to be up on the stage. I want to win. I want to have my moment.”

The 17-year-old archer will make her Olympic debut in individual and team recurve archery in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

“For me, it’s kind of a go big or go home thing,” Kaufhold said. “I want a gold medal. That’s the thing I want most in this world.”

She’s already tasted success winning two gold and one bronze medals in the 2019 Pan American Games.

“Part of my steps to get there is making the team,” Kaufhold said of her goals. “That’s great and all, and I’ve been celebrating that, but I still want to keep in the mindset of [winning a] gold medal.”

That mindset means a whole lot of training. The high school student puts in four to five hours per day at her family’s archery ranges in East Lampeter Township.

“Certain variables change how you feel and how you shoot at that time,” Kaufhold said of competing. “To have a strong mental structure, definitely helps in those moments.”

If Casey can medal in Japan, she would make history. It would be the first individual US women’s medal since 1976; plus it could be the first US Women’s team medal since 1988.

“It’s important to know that you’re your own person,” Kaufhold said of her advice to other girls. “Someone else doesn’t define you, it’s what you do that defines you.”

She says anyone can compete in archery, but hopes to be in a class of her own with a medal around her neck in just a couple short weeks.

“In the end, this is what I want most,” Kaufhold said. “I’m going to put everything I have into it.”

Archery events begin Thursday, July 22 with the individual ranking rounds.