As anticipated by target shooting enthusiasts, one of the greatest Olympic accomplishments in the celebrated history of the games was mostly ignored by media coverage. Kim Rhode became the first U.S. athlete to medal in five consecutive Olympiads. Kim broke 99 out of 100 clay targets to earn the gold in the Women’s Skeet Competition in London. NBC did not even break into other TV coverage to give a brief announcement of this spectacular win and the KC Star buried it on page 6 in the Monday Sports Section. While skeet shooting is certainly not as popular in today’s culture as women’s gymnastics or swimming, shouldn’t world class performance and accomplishments also be showcased?
In double record-setting fashion, Sgt. Vincent Hancock became the first shotgun shooter to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in men’s skeet on Tuesday at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
Hancock, 23, a Soldier in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit from Eatonton, Ga., eclipsed his own records set at the 2008 Beijing Games for a new qualification record of 123 and total score of 148. He struck gold in China with a qualification score of 121 and total of 145.
Hancock prevailed by two shots over silver medalist Anders Golding (146) of Denmark and by four shots over Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiya (144), who secured the bronze medal by winning a shoot-off against Russia’s Valeriy Shomin, who is ranked No. 2 in the world.
“Being able to stand up there again and listen to the national anthem again, it’s got to be better,” said Hancock, who also holds the world records for skeet qualification (125) and final (150) scores. “It hasn’t set in fully yet, but going out there and doing it again and taking the opportunity God’s given me to get back out on the field to compete for the gold medal again, there’s just no feeling like it.”