Kim Rhode made history Sunday in London when she became the first U.S. athlete to win a medal in an individual sport in five consecutive Olympic Games.
In the skeet shooting competition, the 33-year-old Californian hit an Olympic record 74 of 75 targets in preliminary rounds and finished tying for the world record by missing just one in 100 shots. Her third gold medal, which she won by eight shots, is the most ever won by a woman in shooting.
“I think every emotion hit me all at once. Right now, it’s all I can do to contain the tears,” she told NBC shortly after her victory.
She said it was difficult to compare her first medal, in the 1996 Atlanta Games when she was 17, and Sunday.
“It’s so different. When I was 17 I don’t think I really realized or understood what It was I had done until I got home and saw how it affected, touched people, and what it meant,” she said on air.
Rhode was then asked if she’d like to have that single clay she missed back.
“Of course I wish I had that one target back, but at the same time, sometimes you just miss. It just happens,” she said.
While her accuracy is well-known in the outdoors world, her feat attracted the attention of major news outlets. Stories on Rhode appear in such esteemed news outlets as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor.
Rhode wasn’t the only one in the outdoors world to make headlines over the weekend. Brady Ellison, Jacob Wukie and Jake Kaminski gave the U.S. its first medal in London when they took silver in the men’s team archery on Saturday.
They almost won gold but Italy’s Michele Frangilli scored a 10 on the final arrow of their match to take a 219-218 victory. The U.S. was almost eliminated from medal contention in the quarterfinals after falling behind Japan before rallying for a 220-219 victory. In its semifinal, the U.S. had 10s in seven of its final nine arrows to upend three-time defending Gold medalist South Korea, 224-219.
Ellison, the top-ranked archer in the world, Wukie and Kaminski gave America its first medal in the event since 2000, and they’ve garnered similar attention as Rhode. The three will appear Monday morning on NBC’s Today Show live from Olympic Park.