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Olympian Kim Rhode's roots in Southern California

July 30, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Southern California native Kim Rhode became the first American to win a medal in an individual sport in five consecutive Olympics.

Rhode captured the gold medal in women's skeet shooting Sunday and tied the world record and set the Olympic mark with 99 points - meaning she missed once in 100 shots.

Rhode, 33, is from El Monte and trains at the Redlands Shooting Park in Redlands. When she wasn't practicing in Redlands, she was visiting different parts of the U.S. where it's rainy and gusty to prepare herself for the weather in London.

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"It was pouring rain in London and in that final round, it was something that I was able to pull from in the moment," she said. "Many memories of the journey that it took to get there, the bumps on the road - good, bad and the in between, as I like to say - really came to mind."

Lou Martinez, the Redlands Shooting Park manager, wears one of Rhode's Olympics pins and says she's as nice and as down-to-Earth as they come.

"We're really excited out here, not just us, our staff, our customers, everybody is a friend of Kim Rhode out here on this range," Martinez said. "It's always an exciting event, but I have to tell you, we're not surprised. Not a bit."

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At these Olympics, Rhode was eight targets better than silver medalist Wei Ning of China and nine better than Slovakia's Danka Bartekova.

Rhode won in double trap at Atlanta as a teenager in 1996, took bronze in that event four years later at Sydney, re-claimed the gold at Athens in 2004 and won the silver in skeet at Beijing in 2008.

Rhode plans to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she has a chance to be the first to have medals in six straight Olympics.

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