Seonaid McIntosh Aims for Victory at Paris 2024: Exclusive Interview

In an exclusive interview, British World Champion sports shooter Seonaid McIntosh discusses her journey, challenges, and aspirations for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Reflecting on her Tokyo Olympics experience, McIntosh shares insights into unique hurdles and valuable lessons learned. Emphasising family support, health considerations, and her dual roles as a shooter and aspiring PT/yoga teacher, she reveals her strategic approach to training and competition.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-01-15

Wade McElwain

12 minutes read

Pride in Representing Great Britain at Paris 2024

British sports shooter Seonaid McIntosh, renowned as the World Champion at the 2018 ISSF World Shooting Championships in the 50m Prone Rifle event, is now gearing up for the prestigious Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Following her notable experience at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, where she navigated challenges and showcased her prowess, McIntosh sits down for an exclusive interview to delve into her remarkable journey, hurdles faced, and the promising path that lies ahead.


Notably, McIntosh has left an indelible mark in the world of shooting. In 2019, she etched her name in history as Britain's most successful female rifle shooter, clinching five World Cup medals, including the ground-breaking feat of securing the first World Cup Gold by a British woman. Her achievements continued to soar as she became the first British woman to claim the World #1 ranking for the 50m Rifle Three Position event. McIntosh further solidified her position as a dominant force in European shooting by attaining the title of European Champion in the 300m Rifle Prone event, achieving an equal World Record score.


Representing Great Britain at the Olympic Games is a source of immense pride for McIntosh, and she articulates her excitement, expressed, "I'm super proud to be able to represent GB, and I think it's such a cool thing to be able to see you've done." As an accomplished athlete, McIntosh brings not only her exceptional skill but also a wealth of experience and a track record of exceptional achievements to the global stage of the Olympics.

Scottish Sports Awards Nomination

Moving forward, the recent recognition from the Scottish Sports Award’s nomination for Female Athlete of the Year adds to McIntosh's sense of accomplishment. Reflecting on the nomination, she humbly remarked, "To get considered alongside people like [Katie Archibald and Beth Potter], it’s a real honour, and something that I will look back on with a real sense of pride."



Tokyo 2021: A Challenging Odyssey and McIntosh's Candid Reflections

The Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games presented unique challenges for McIntosh as they were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extended preparation time initially brought relief but eventually led to struggles, especially with limited competitions and health concerns. McIntosh admitted, "I just really struggled with that lack of competition leading up to the games. I'd lost all my confidence."


Looking back at Tokyo, McIntosh acknowledged the disappointment in her performance, leading to a period of self-reflection. "I spent this whole year after that working out if I wanted to keep shooting, if that feeling of confidence that I thought I was looking for, if that had ever actually existed or if I was making it up in my head," she shared.

Paris 2024 Preparations: McIntosh Unveils Training Strategies and Competition Schedule

Preparing for Paris 2024 comes with a different mindset. McIntosh acknowledged the stress but emphasised the perspective gained from the Tokyo experience, saying, "Tokyo went so badly, and I struggled so much with it, but I'm still here. I'm still fine. Life went on afterwards."


As McIntosh ramps up her training for the upcoming Games, she discussed her approach, stating, "Between now and August, it's going to be tough." She outlined a schedule that includes high-level competitions such as the ISSF World Cup, training camps, and a strategic build-up to the Paris Games.

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We've got a lot of competitions. It ramps up at the end of May and then June's fairly empty before we then get on the plane and fly over to Paris. There'll be training at home, but it'll be fairly short intense sessions and then there'll definitely be a chance to have a break before we go into that bubble at the games.

McIntosh on her schedule and training ahead of Paris 2024.

Accomplished Family Background and Managing Expectations

Seonaid McIntosh's familial connection extends beyond mere ties; it serves as a cornerstone of her competitive advantage in the world of sports shooting. Reflecting on her family's rich history in the sport, the Edinburgh-native initially grappled with the weight of expectations. However, McIntosh has not only embraced the challenge but also risen above the pressure, finding solace in the support and understanding offered by her family.


What sets McIntosh apart is not just her skill with a rifle but the nurturing relationship she shares with her father, who also serves as her coach. This familial dynamic provides her with a distinct edge, offering more than just technical guidance. The trust and understanding inherent in their relationship have become invaluable assets in McIntosh's competitive journey. "Their expectations are a bit different because they've been through it all. They know what can happen from their own points of view," she says.


In a world where the relationship between athlete and coach can often be strictly professional, McIntosh's bond with her father transcends the norm. This connection provides her with a unique advantage over competitors who may lack the same nurturing support system. The depth of trust allows McIntosh to communicate openly about her physical and mental states, stating, "There's just that trust there. I can chat to him, dad, I'm tired, or dad, I don't feel well, and we can adjust things." While many athletes navigate the complexities of their sport with external coaches, McIntosh's familial coaching arrangement offers a level of understanding that goes beyond the technical aspects of shooting. 

Pursuit of Physical and Mental Wellness

Beyond her shooting career, McIntosh is venturing into becoming a Personal Trainer (PT) and a yoga teacher. She credits strength and conditioning training and yoga for mental and physical benefits, helping her cope with the challenges of her sport.


“I've had arthritis since I was about 17, and I started doing the strength training to try and help me build up muscles that I'd lost in when I had bad arthritis. I was very weak in the legs and the strength and conditioning was to help with that and mostly around injury prevention and general fitness, but for me, it wasn't just about physical fitness, but it really helped mentally as well”, the 27-year-old added. 

McIntosh's Resilience in the Face of Crohn's Disease

McIntosh's health journey includes dealing with Crohn's disease, and she emphasizes the reciprocal relationship between her sport and health. The symbiotic relationship between her yoga training, resilience, and her battle with Crohn's disease unfolds as a testament to her unwavering determination. Reflecting on the interconnectedness of her sport and health, McIntosh poignantly remarked, "Yeah, I don't know if sport helped that or if that helped sport or if it's a bit like chicken and egg. They both kind of helped each other." 


This intricate dance between her physical well-being and her athletic pursuits illustrates a profound resilience that has become a defining feature of her character. McIntosh acknowledges the inevitability of challenging days in both sport and health, noting, "Everybody has bad days, and you kind of have to have the bad days to have good days." 




This resilient mentality seamlessly transitions between the shooting range and her health battles. The yogic principles ingrained in McIntosh's training have equipped her with a perspective that transcends setbacks, fostering a mindset that embraces the ebb and flow of challenges. As she asserted, "It's really about how you look at things, your perception of stuff. So, I think yeah, I think they've definitely helped each other."

Insight into the Role of Diet in Her Sporting Journey

Diet also plays a crucial role in McIntosh's overall fitness and shooting performance. Considering her health conditions, she emphasised the importance of consistency, revealing how certain foods or drinks can impact her precision in shooting.


“If you've got a good diet then you're slightly fitter, and in general healthier. When we go to hot countries or if you're traveling long flights, you adapt to time zone changes or temperature, climate changes, you adapt a lot faster if you're fitter. So having that good diet and just being that bit healthier really helps with that. Our sport really a lot about breathing and a lot about heart rate, so it’s crucial’, she replied regarding her personal health and diet. 

Determined Path to Leave an Indelible Mark in Paris

With the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on the horizon, Seonaid McIntosh is orchestrating plans for a supportive entourage, ready to witness her resilience and determination unfold on the grand stage of international competition. Eager to showcase the depth of her commitment, McIntosh is not merely an athlete preparing for an event; she is a symbol of unwavering perseverance. 


As she navigates the challenges and triumphs woven into the fabric of her journey, McIntosh stands poised at the precipice of greatness. Her journey, marked by a tapestry of achievements, setbacks, and unyielding resolve, is a testament to the human spirit's capacity to transcend obstacles. With every shot, she not only aims for precision on the target but endeavours to etch her name into the annals of Olympic history. 

Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.