It’s too bad the shooting sports and archery don’t receive a more prominent position in Olympic coverage but it’s hard to avoid that this year with the United States teams doing so well.
The men’s archery team took silver and skeet shooter Kim Rhode took home Olympic gold. She did so in a record-setting performance far surpassing her competition. Her score of 99 out of 100 was near perfect and a full eight targets better than the second place finisher.
She also has accomplished something no other Olympiad has ever done—she has won five medals in five consecutive Olympics. Carl Lewis never did that nor did Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
It’s a testament to the fact that archery and shooting are truly life sports. You can pick up the sport as a youth and continue it as a senior. Rhode won her first medal as a teenager and good friends of mine, Chuck and Loral I Delaney, are still avid shooters in their 70s.
Those two stories converged back in 2006 when Kim Rhode spent the two weekends of Game Fair as a guest of Chuck and Loral I Delaney during the 25th Anniversary of the event.
The Delaney’s are strong advocates of the shooting sports and extremely accomplished shotgunners themselves. Loral I puts on shooting lessons for ladies at Game Fair each year and as an inductee into the national trapshooting hall of fame she’s definitely qualified. Go to http://www.traphof.org/Inductees/Delaney-Loral-I.html for details on some of her accomplishments (though not all).
Rhode split her duties between the shotgun range providing instruction with Loral I and meeting with fans in the Information Tent. She was a very interesting woman to chat with and was very humble for a three-time Olympic athlete (at the time).
I interviewed her for a profile that appeared in the Outdoor News and, all humility aside, she did sign an autograph for me and allowed me to check out her Olympic medals. It was impressive at the time but even moreso now that she’s the only individual Olympic athlete to win medals in five straight Olympics.
What impresses me most about her shooting accomplishments was that she had to totally change her shooting style. Her first Olympic medals were achieved in trapshooting. Then they dropped that from the Olympics and she had to make the shift to skeet.
I much prefer skeet to trap and, as anybody who shoots both will attest to, making the shift between them is a difficult adjustment. The targets fly very differently and the rhythm is definitely a change.
No word yet if she’ll be returning to Minnesota to visit the Delany’s at Game Fair again this year. Game Fair runs from August 10 to 12 and 17 to 19 at the Armstrong Ranch Kennels in Ramsey, MN and Olympic closing ceremonies are scheduled for August 12.
If she does by chance happen to stop by, you can find out at www.facebook.com/GameFairUSA or on Twitter @GameFairUSA. Details on Game Fair can be found at www.GameFair.com.
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