By winning gold in skeet shooting in London last week, America’s Kim Rhode has now medaled in five consecutive Olympic games. Not only that, she won in two different events, medaling three times in double trap, then switching to the very different game of international skeet. With the shooting sports getting much more coverage in these Olympics, Kim is receiving plenty of long overdue recognition.
She deserves the attention. Kim trains very hard, shooting up to 1,000 rounds a day before big shoots. That is an incredible amount of pounding to endure and it takes a lot of mental strength to keep your focus through 1,000 rounds, then do it again the next day. And, she switched from the very demanding game of international double trap to skeet, which requires perfecting a low gun start and perfect gun mount.
There is even talk in mainstream sporting media that Rhode is “the greatest U.S. Olympian ever.”
While the story is a little bit tongue in cheek, it is great to see a shotgun shooter mentioned in a conversation that includes Michael Phelps (22 medals) and Carl Lewis (gold in four Olympics, beginning as a sprinter, switching to long jump).
Rhode may not be done winning yet, either. She is only 33 years old and may have more Olympic games to go. Regardless of whether she is the greatest Olympian, she is easily the greatest competitor in the short history of Olympic women’s shotgunning, which began in 1996, the year Rhode won her first medal as a teenager.
I will leave it to you all to debate who is the greatest U.S. Olympian. Kim Rhode is a great representative of the shooting sports. I for one would like to see her on a Wheaties box. Anyone think that will happen?