Olympic gold medalist will share her experiences
Three-time Olympian Kim Rhode is switching from trap -- where she won her medals -- to skeet in an attempt to qualify for the 2008 Games.
Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune
Last update: August 12, 2006 – 11:11 PM
Kim Rhode, 27, has won three Olympic medals -- two golds and a bronze -- competing in women's international doubles trap in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
Rhode will be at Game Fair in Anoka next weekend to advise and help young and old shooters alike.
Q How did a kid from Los Angeles get started in shooting?
A My grandfather was a Montana rancher. He taught my dad to shoot, who taught my mom and me. I started club shooting when I was quite young, I was competing when I was 10. Shooting was just part of an outdoor life my family shared. We did a lot of camping, traveling, sitting around campfires. That's pretty much what I grew up with. At some point, to help my hunting, I started practicing with my shotgun. Someone said I was pretty good. So I shot some more.
Q Your first Olympics was in Atlanta.
A I was 16 at the time. I turned 17 five days before my event. I was the youngest ever to compete in shooting for the U.S. I won the gold that year. I don't remember how many targets I broke.
Q You competed in the next two Olympics as well, winning a bronze in 2000 and gold in '04. But the Olympics now has scrapped international doubles for women, forcing you to change your game.
A There are a lot of rumors as to why women's doubles trap has been eliminated Some people say it's because the men don't like being beat by women. I really don't know why. There's a lot of speculation. But politics played a role, I suspect.
Q You've taken a couple of years off from training and switched to international skeet, a completely different game, hoping to shoot in the next Olympics.
A Yes, in international skeet the targets are traveling about 70 miles an hour and cross in front of you. And the gun has to start at your hip. Everything about it is different from trap.
Q Why have you been so successful?
A I tell people, practice, practice, practice. And never give up. There are many, many bumps in the road. Overcoming those is one thing the Olympics are all about. The second is practice. I shoot 1,000 rounds a day, doing the exact same thing over and over again. After a while, it becomes like walking.
Q What has shooting taught you?
A Responsibility. Discipline. Focus.
Q You've got some endorsements and do some TV work. Are you making a living at shooting?
A Shooting is the second-most-expensive sport in the Olympics. I make enough to support myself. But I'm also going to school in pre-veterinary science, art and business. I have a lot of expenses.
Q What will you do at Game Fair?
A I'll bring my medals and let the kids see and hold them. I'll talk to kids and others about their shooting. I might even shoot some myself. I just happened to have the time available, and the fellow who owns Laser Shot asked if I'd like to come to the fair. I've got a Laser Shot game at home I use for practice. I said, sure, I'd love to be there to support it.
Q What's next for you?
A I've got a selection match for the U.S. world championship team coming up in Texas in a few weeks that I'm training for.