Don’t be surprised if, while dove hunting next month, you meet Southern California champion Kim Rhode, the Olympian who just keeps on winning. Although she is best known worldwide as a competitive champion, her roots are in hunting, including dove hunting.
Kim was in the news recently when she won her third straight National Championship in her new event of International Skeet. Her score of 267 of 275 is the highest posted in this event.
Kim's performance was superlative. She shot 97 out of 100 the first day, 98 out of 100 the second day and 72 out of 75 the final day including a perfect final round of 25 out of 25 when her teammate was but one target behind Kim.
By winning, Kim took her important first step in her quest to earn five consecutive medals in five straight Olympic Games, a feat that has never been done by an individual USA Olympian before.
Kim's quest began in 1992 and will span 20 years of elite competition at the highest level in 2012. To maintain a consistent level of performance at the highest level for all of these years is a truly stunning accomplishment.
"I am very proud of my performance these past three days. This was the best that I have ever performed in International Skeet. I am also very proud of my teammates who also shot extremely well. They pushed me to perform at my very best," she said."
I just tried to stay focused for each shot and I'm very pleased with the final score which is the best that I have ever done in this type of competition,” she continued. I know I have much more to do but I am happy to get off to a start like this."
News coverage of Kim’s incredible career began right here in WON, so it is fitting that it be followed here as she sets record after record after record. I can remember well that evening long ago at the then-Pachmayr shooting facilities in Los Angeles County where I watched the most incredible 11-year-old shooter one could imagine.
That’s when I first met and covered Kim for WON, and that is when I met her parents, Richard and Sharon, who as a family have continued to be an integral part of the phenomenon since. And, that’s when we talked about the family’s annual pilgrimage to southern Arizona for the dove opener.
When she is not shooting or hunting, Kim is one of the world’s most effective ambassadors of both shooting and hunting. She frequently lends her support to organizations like the National Shooting Sports Foundation, NRA and Safari Club International as those organizations do what they can to support and protect both shooting and hunting.
Steve Comus is a nationally recognized hunting editor with Safari Club International and a former WON Guns and Hunting Editor. His column appears every other week in WON and he can be reached at email@example.com