Skeet shooting: World Cup in Tucson feels like home to Los Angeles-based star

2012-03-28T20:00:00Z Skeet shooting: World Cup in Tucson feels like home to Los Angeles-based starBy Patrick Finley, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 28, 2012 8:00 pm  • 

Kim Rhode is the greatest American woman to ever shoot things out of the air, and one of the world’s great experts at staying up in it.

Only 32, the skeet and trap shooter has logged almost 1 million miles on United Airlines — more miles, maybe, than “Sully” and Snoopy combined.

Rhode first traveled for competitions at 10, and made the national team at 13.

She’s been to Italy 32 times alone, and around the world more times than she can count.

Rhode spends half her days, literally, travelling from her El Monte, Calif., home to participate in a sport with deep roots, and money, in Europe and Asia.

This week’s International Shooting Sports Foundation Shotgun World Cup at Tucson Trap & Skeet Club, then, is the closest major event Rhode has ever had to her suburban Los Angeles home.

“Isn’t that crazy?” she said Wednesday. “It’s nice to be in the same time zone.”

Rhode has won four medals in four Olympiads, starting at age 16.

If she captures one in London this summer, she will become the first individual athlete ever, in any discipline, to go five-for-five.

Rhode has already qualified for Olympic skeet shooting — she was the first American in any sport to do, two years ago — and can qualify for trap shooting today just by reaching a minimum score.

“Ninety-nine-point-nine-nine-nine percent of the competition we do is overseas,” she told me. “It’s very nice to have that home-field advantage.”

The world cup has found its way to Texas twice in the last decade or so, but every other stop has been in a foreign country.

The sport is more popular internationally than Jerry Lewis.

Read more about Rhode and the skeet shooting event in Thursday's Arizona Daily Star.

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