Kim Rhode is the most decorated Olympic shooter in her discipline, and we caught up with her at the 2014 SHOT Show to talk about the event, her partnership with Kids and Clays, and her preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Wide Open Spaces: Tell us about how awesome it is to be at SHOT Show.
Kim Rhode: Well, SHOT Show 2014 has been incredible; it’s been as massive as always. Lots of people, great turnout, but with that being said, I think we’re seeing it become a big trend in the industry with technology. Obviously it seems to be the hit of the show. There’s lots of techie-type stuff coming out, and I think that’s going to be the wave of the future and we’re going to see more and more of it.
Wide Open Spaces: You’re right, and especially with social media and the Internet helping to flatten the shooting world when we don’t have giant events like this, when we’re all in the same place.
Kim Rhode: Exactly, I mean, I definitely try to (use) Twitter as much as possible, but I just can’t tell everybody, like, what I had for breakfast. I just can’t bring myself to do that, but it’s something that I definitely enjoy, trying to (tweet) on things that are important, new and upcoming things that I’m doing. And you know, at the Olympics in 2012 I was actually tweeting in between my rounds. It definitely is the future, and I think more and more of the outdoor industry will be drawn to it.
Related story: See where Rhode ranks in The Shooting 50, our list of the must-follow Twitter accounts in the shooting industry.
Wide Open Spaces: What’s your connection with Kids and Clays, and what does the organization do?
Kim Rhode: Well, Kids and Clays is an organization that actually throws shoots around the United States, or helps local Ronald McDonald Houses throw shoots, to raise money for local Houses to help families that have sick or ill children and need a place to stay. So it’s a real fantastic organization, it’s a great way to not only introduce people to the outdoors and what we enjoy and take for granted every day, but also help a lot of really amazing and wonderful families and kids.
Wide Open Spaces: And you’re the official spokesperson as well as the newest board member, right?
Kim Rhode: Yeah, it’s something I really believe in, and I think it’s just amazing. I’m very proud to be a part of it.
Wide Open Spaces: So they guide local Ronald McDonald Houses in a unique, different style of fundraising, is that correct?
Kim Rhode: Well, they basically get together with the local Ronald McDonald Houses and the shooting ranges, help them in throwing the event, help them get started and getting the people connected. And then they continually do it every year in the different locations. I mean, it’s a great way for people to get out in the outdoors, get into shooting, and make new friends and try something new and have a lot of fun and raise money for a really, really amazing and great cause, which, as you know, the Ronald McDonald House does so much for so many.
Wide Open Spaces: Absolutely. So, Rio 2016, how are preparations?
Kim Rhode: Preparations are going good for Rio! We’re in full training right now. I have a World Cup in Tucson coming up, and so, you know, the World Cups are a measure to let us know if we’re there, or if we need a little more practice here or there for the Olympics. So that’s going to be kind of my measure as we lead up to the 2016 games, and hopefully we can go six for six. Six medals, six Olympics, I like to say no pressure, right?
Wide Open Spaces: That’s right, we didn’t know if we should mention it, we didn’t want to jinx it.
Kim Rhode: It’s okay, lay it on me, I can take it!
Wide Open Spaces: That’s great, and it puts you in some pretty nice company. What does it mean to you that you’re going for a record in medals in the Olympics, which very few people ever get to do?
Kim Rhode: You know, it’s been quite an honor. I mean, in my sport, they only take one person, so it’s been an honor just to have made the Olympic team, let alone to have had the experience five times and walking away with a medal. You know, it’s something that I’ll never forget, and hopefully I can keep adding to the collection, and just hopefully keep doing my country proud, and just having a lot of fun, really. I have to say, it’s been an incredible, incredible journey, and I hope there’s many, many more after this. And this time, my son will maybe be there.
Wide Open Spaces: That’s right! Congratulations! Could you address the community aspect of SHOT Show? It brings together like-minded individuals, no matter what corner of the planet they’re from. How cool is that?
Kim Rhode: Well the SHOT Show is so amazing because it has everything to do with the outdoors, from your camping gear and the utensils you use while camping, to your shotguns, your rifles, pistols, to the tactical side and the military. It’s truly all-encompassing, and it’s massive! You know, I always jokingly say that when I picked shooting, I picked the right sport. Not only because we have the outdoors and the wonderful people, but we have such an incredible industry behind us, and we have so much history and, I think, so much more in the future that’s sure to come.