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Kim Rhode is already looking to extend her record of winning a shooting medal at every Olympics since 1996 by continuing the streak at the 2016 games.
The 33-year-old won gold in the women’s skeet yesterday to become the first U.S. woman to collect a medal at an individual sport at five consecutive Olympic Games. She’s only the fifth person from any nation to do so.
“There’s definitely a few more Olympics in me, I’m certainly looking forward to Rio in 2016,” Rhode told reporters at the Olympic Park in London. “Shooting is a sport you can have a very long career at.”
Rhode, shooting a Perazzi MX2000S shotgun, won the contest at the Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich in the southeast of the U.K. capital after setting an Olympic record in qualifying with 74 hits out of a possible 75. She scored a perfect 25 in the final to tie her own world record and beat second-placed Wei Ning, 29, of China with a total score of 99 to Wei’s 91.
“It was very tough shooting conditions,” Rhode said after contending with rain, wind and changing light. “It made me focus that much harder and pay attention that much more.”
Rhode’s first Olympic medal was a gold in the double trap at Atlanta in 1996, when she was 17 years old. She followed with a bronze in Sydney in 2000 and gold in Athens in 2004 for the same discipline before taking silver for skeet in Beijing in 2008 after double trap was dropped from the Olympic program.
Since the last Olympic Games she’s fought breast cancer and had the shotgun she had used to win all her previous medals stolen. She won today using a gun anonymously donated to her even though the stolen gun was recovered by the police.
Coached by her father, a former competitive wrestler, Rhode started shooting at age 10 and discharges 500 to 1,000 rounds a day. She has shot more than 3 million targets, she said.
“All that practice paid off. It’s just like walking, when you walk down the street you don’t think left, right, left, right,” she said. “For me today it was very easy.”
Rhode shoots again in the women’s trap on Aug. 4.
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