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El Monte woman earns Olympic skeet shooting gold, 1st American to medal in 5 consecutive Olympics

Kimberly Rhode of the United States poses with her gold medal at a press conference at The Main Press Center after winning the Women's Skeet Shooting on Day 2 on of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Royal Artillery Barracks on July 29, 2012 in London, England.
Kimberly Rhode of the United States poses with her gold medal at a press conference at The Main Press Center after winning the Women's Skeet Shooting on Day 2 on of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Royal Artillery Barracks on July 29, 2012 in London, England.
Lars Baron/Getty Images
Kimberly Rhode of the United States poses with her gold medal at a press conference at The Main Press Center after winning the Women's Skeet Shooting on Day 2 on of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Royal Artillery Barracks on July 29, 2012 in London, England.
Gold medallist Kimberly Rhode of the U.S. takes aim as she takes part in the women's skeet competion at The Royal Artillery Barracks.
MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images
Kimberly Rhode of the United States poses with her gold medal at a press conference at The Main Press Center after winning the Women's Skeet Shooting on Day 2 on of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Royal Artillery Barracks on July 29, 2012 in London, England.
Gold medalist U.S.' Kimberly Rhode attempts to catch empty cartridges from the barrel of her rifle during the women's shooting skeet final of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images


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This is part of KPCC’s "L.A. To London” series, which will be exploring local connections to the 2012 Summer Olympics. View the series and follow it on Twitter at #latolondon.

El Monte resident Kimberly Rhode, 33, won the gold medal in skeet shooting Sunday. She set an Olympic record by hitting 99 out of 100 targets, and she brought the audience in London to its feet.

Rhode says the rain and wind made concentration essential.

“It was a very tough competition, tough final, but I think in the end, it made me focus that much harder and made me pay attention that much more on every target, every detail, and really dig deep,” she said.

Rhode is the first American to take an individual medal in five consecutive Olympics. She won her first Olympic gold medal at age 17 in Atlanta, 1996. She came home with a silver medal from Beijing in the last summer games.

Rhode started shooting when she was 10. Coached by her father, she says she practices by firing 550 to 1000 rounds a day. Rhode says she wants to come to Rio for the 2016 summer games. In her spare time, she builds and refurbishes classic and antique cars.