Skeet and Trap Shooting

Photograph by Patrik Giardino

33, 5 feet 4, Monrovia 

Trains at: Redlands Trap & Skeet Park and the Oak Tree Gun Club in Newhall. The road taken: In 2009, Rhode’s “Old Faithful” shotgun—the Perazzi MX-12 she used in four previous Olympics—was stolen, and she had to get comfortable with a new gun. “Having to switch was challenging, especially in skeet, but it also made me train harder.” Old Faithful was recovered, but Rhode is sticking with her new gun as she attempts to medal in a record five Olympics. Psych factor: “I don’t think too much when I’m out there. I’m usually singing a song to myself or focusing on my heartbeat or listening to myself breathe. Whatever it takes to get me into that zone.” Superstition: “I take a cold shower the morning of competition. It kind of wakes me up.” What you should know: Rhode expects her main rival to be Wei Ning of China. “It’s been going back and forth between us at all the championships. You’re definitely going to see it go down to the two of us in the top three.” Life after London: “I’m going to do all the daredevil stuff I couldn’t do before the Olympics: dirt biking, surfing, sky-diving, skiing. And camping on the beach in Carpinteria.”

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