Olympic athlete wins gold medal while wearing a Witcher medallion

Vitalina Batsarashkina
(Image credit: Kevin C. Cox (Getty Images))

Vitalina Batsarashkina has two powerful passions in life: Shooting air pistols, and The Witcher. And as she demonstrated over the weekend at the Tokyo Olympics, she's very good at both: She wore a Witcher medallion while competing in the event, and she won a gold medal.

Check it out:

(Image credit: Valery Sharifulin (Getty Images))

(Click the arrows in the upper-right corner of the image for an up-close look.)

She doesn't appear to have worn the medallion during the medal ceremony (not visibly, at least), but that's understandable. Knowing the Olympics, there's probably a rule against it.

This isn't the first time that Batsarashkina has got into competition wearing Geralt's famous bling. As reported by Kotaku, she wore a Witcher medallion and Witcher-themed shooting glasses at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she won silver. An image from that competition also made the rounds on Twitter today, initially for Batsarashkina's super-chill shooting stance—at least until someone noticed the medallion dangling from her pants.

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And her fandom isn't strictly an on-field thing, either. Have a look at the shirt in this epic tweet. (I want one of those shirts, by the way.)

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Naturally, her taste in shooting gear came to the attention (and earned the approval) of The Witcher studio CD Projekt Red:

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As for Batsarashkina's seemingly casual stance, which might seem out of place at this top-tier level of international competition, there's a good reason for it: According to Twitter user @joedobner, it's all about composure and control. "When you're shooting as precisely as that, your heartbeat throws off your aim," they explained. "So they stand as relaxed as possible and still maintain a firm stance."

A quote from former Indian competitive shooter Suma Shirur on the Olympics.com website says much the same thing: "If I have to control the movement, hold my body steady, at the same place for a long period of time, I need a lot of muscle endurance. That needs a lot of strength. For that, you need to have good fitness."

Good gear probably helps, too.

(Image credit: Kevin C. Cox (Getty Images))

Update: As a couple of sharp-eyed readers have pointed out, that's not actually a School of the Wolf medallion that Batsarashkina is wearing, as I originally thought—it's School of the Cat, the medallion worn by Ciri. Unless my eyes have gone seriously bad, though, the medallion she wore in 2016 is definitely School of the Wolf. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.