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

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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.

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