Question: Have you heard about the American that has won medals in six consecutive Olympics with 2016 being the last of six? Only one other person has done it... ever. Quite a feat but not much recognition. Wonder why? Won a gold in 1996, bronze in 2000, gold in 2004, silver in 2008, gold in 2012, and a bronze in 2016.
The Unknown Olympic Champion
Kim Rhode has won medals in six games. Cue the non-coverage.
How do you manage to win a medal at six straight Olympics and remain more or less unknown? The answer: win by shooting a gun. American skeet-shooter Kim Rhode last week became the first athlete, male or female, to win a medal at six summer games and the first on five continents, but don?t look for her on a box of Wheaties.
Mrs. Rhode, who won a bronze medal in Rio, has received little media attention despite her historic feat. The 37-year-old also lacks a single major corporate sponsor, though her ammunition and training costs are offset with sponsorship and donations from such firearms companies as Beretta and Otis Technology.
Her agent told Bloomberg he had pitched the sharp-shooter to more than 20 companies, with no luck. Our guess is they don?t want to risk a backlash from the progressive antigun culture. It probably doesn?t help that Mrs. Rhode is an outspoken critic of gun-control laws and a Donald Trump supporter.
Even when the press has reported on her achievement, the tone has often been dismissive. An NBC story noted that her medal record is arguably ?far less impressive than, say, a gymnast or a swimmer? because shooting ?requires fewer physical attributes.? Sure, all it takes is remarkable hand-eye coordination, quick reflexes, steady nerves and dedication over 20 years.
Mrs. Rhode has succeeded even as countries like China and Russia train younger athletes who can rack up medals in less prominent sports for the greater national glory. Ms. Rhode has had to do it largely on her own.
Shooting will never be as TV friendly as swimming or beach volleyball, but trap or skeet shooting is a pastime for tens of thousands of Americans outside the main media corridors. Congratulations to Mrs. Rhode on her under-appreciated achievement.