Kim Rhode Video Interview, U.S. Olympic Shooter
When U.S. Olympic Shooter Kim Rhode, 33, won the gold medal in skeet shooting at the 2012 Olympic Games, she became the first Olympian ever to medal in five consecutive Olympic Games. She was also the first woman to ever win three individual gold medals in shooting.
“I don’t think it ever becomes old hat,” Rhode said about her endeavors to the New York Times. “It’s really about the journey.”
Born in Whittier, Calif., Rhode began shooting when she was 10. She won her first medal when she took home gold as a 17-year-old at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Having already competed in five Olympic Games, she is a seasoned veteran, despite her young age. “I think that’s one thing that’s so fantastic about our sport. In shooting we tend to have longer longevity than, say, a gymnast, so it’s something that we can do for a very long period of time,” she told Uinterview exclusively. “The oldest medalist in the history of the Olympics was a shooter—he was 72. So I hopefully have a few more Olympics under my belt.”
Equally impressive was how she managed to keep her focus on a sport that requires a lot of attention. “Well, you know, practice is never easy. If it is, then you’re not doing it right,” Rhode told Uinterview. “It’s one of those things that you’re always pushing yourself to do more and be better — focus harder and longer. And hopefully, when you do that, when you go into that competition, it’s something that makes it easy.”
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I think that's one thing that's so fantastic about our sport. In shooting we tend to have a longer longevity than, say, a gymnast, so it's something that we can do for a very long period of time. The oldest medalist in the history of the Olympics was a shooter—he was 72. So I hopefully have a few more Olympics under my belt. I like to think I'm still young. I think it's just been something that I just love: the repetition, being able to go out with my family and practice and train. Obviously, I'm doing it on a much higher level, between 500-1000 rounds a day. But with that being said, I think it's the training, the drilling, and really pushing myself, looking at my weak points or what I think where I maybe have a fear here, a fear there, and focusing on that to eliminate those fears, so when I step out there on that line I know that I can win and bring home another gold.
Shooting is something that we do a lot of repetition. So, going out there doing it 500-1000 times a day, nothing different, being able to take in the conditions — the rain, wind — those are all major things that play into our sport. Kinda like golf, but at the same time, we have to hit a little clay disc about the size of our fist that's flying at about 60-70 miles per hour. And hopefully, when it's all said and done we break more than every other country and bring home the gold for the U.S.
Well, you know, practice is never easy. If it is, then you're not doing it right. It's one of those things that you're always pushing yourself to do more and be better, focus harder and longer. And hopefully, when you do that, when you go into that competition, it's something that makes it easy. The match is a lot less targets than what you shoot in practice. It's maybe not as focused. It allows you to channel that focus and energy onto other things, which is something we’ll definitely be doing in London with the crowds and the cameras, and everything else. So, it's something that we practice every day.
I really don't have anything in particular that I do. I will say that in a match competition I do like to wake up and take a cold shower due to the fact that we're constantly travelling and have that jet lag. In our competition we need to be up and ready and really focused for that target to come out and really see it. So, it's something that I do that probably most people don't—taking a cold shower, as well as listening to music and just trying to relax at the same time. It's kinda like a teeter-tot. You can't be too relaxed and you can't be too psyched for the match or competition. We're always looking for that happy medium, which we call "being in the zone."
Well, you know, being a shooter, we love our food. I can honestly say that one of my favorites is In-N-Out, so I'll probably be looking forward to an In-N-Out when I get back. At the same time, that comes from being a Californian. There isn't really anything in particular. We drink soda; we eat just like normal, like any other people. But we do try to have some endurance when we're out there competing, so there is some running and things like that that we try to do more for endurance purposes. But most of ours is really on focus and eyes. So we eat a lot of carrots — you know what they say from your parents or your grandparents when you were younger, but nothing in particular or special.
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