World’s Best Female Shooter Won’t Be At Tokyo Olympics

Kim Rhode, one of the world’s most decorated female skeet shooters failed to qualify for the Olympics; but she’s not retiring.

What were you doing in the summer of 1996? Boris Yeltsin was re-elected in Russia, Dolly the sheep was born in Scotland, and Kim Rhode won gold in Double Trap in the Atlanta Olympics. She was was the youngest female gold medalist in shooting at just 17-years old. But she was already the Ladies World Champion in American Skeet four years before that.

Now, she’s the only female Olympian to have medaled in six consecutive Olympics, and only one other Olympian, Armin Zoeggeler (luge), has done the same. So how does an athlete who has lead the world for the last 28 years fail to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

“I have no excuses,” she told the Los Angeles Times in a phone interview. “It’s something you can’t take for granted. Every time, you have to qualify.”

All it takes is missing one or two shots in a highly competitive sport and suddenly you’re not representing your country at the Olympics. Rhode finished fourth, and only the top two get to compete.

The Spring Olympic Trials are comprised of four shooting days. Although shooters will only fire 100 shots at clays in the Olympics, the qualifier was 250 shots plus the finals, plus some points for placing. This qualifier score is combined with scores from the Fall qualifier for a total score.

Amber English, Rhode’s mentee and an Army reservist, scored a 532, followed by Austen Smith’s 529. Samantha Simonton (527) and Kim Rhode’s (520) will be alternates at the Tokyo games. Here’re the scores for the Spring trials. A perfect score in each round would be 25.

Name STATE Fall 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Finals  Total
Amber English CO 236 25 24 23 25 25 24 25 25 25 24 51 532
Austen Smith TX 243 23 25 22 24 23 25 25 22 24 23 50 529
Samantha Simonton CO 240 24 24 22 24 23 24 24 24 23 25 50 527
Kimberly Rhode CA 239 23 25 22 20 24 22 25 21 24 25 50 520

Rhode is on Team Beretta and uses their DT11 over-under shotgun in 12 gauge. Loads for olympic skeet shooting are limited to 7/8oz of #7 shot.

Rhodes uses a competition version of Beretta’s DT11.

Rhode is undaunted by the results of the qualifier. She will be an alternate for the Tokyo games and she says she still plans to compete at the Paris games in 2024 and even the Los Angeles games in 2028.

The Olympics are only once every four years and Kim Rhode competes at far more competitions than the Olympics alone. She’s also won gold at the World Cup and set many world records. Rhode has been competing since the age of ten, and a little setback like this won’t stop her.

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***  

About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • tall woods January 8, 2021, 12:50 pm

    If I recall correctly, Kim used Perazzi until Rio 2016 when her gun was stolen or lost just before the event. I think Perazzi could not replace it in time, and Beretta stepped in and saved the day, and she’s been shooting Beretta ever since. Here in SoCal, she regularly shoots at what used to be called Triple B’s, and before that, we use to see her at Prado quite a bit. She’s phenomenal, but to see her shoot a 20 in round 4, man, that is tragic. She had to know right then and there what her odds were, yet she still shot decently after that terrible round. Fortitude. I really wish she could shoot for the USA this year again, but fair is fair. She got beat. I hate that the qualifiers are all down to one event. Anyone can have a bad day. I think it should be spread out a bit, and then averaged together.

  • Roy Spencer March 13, 2020, 1:45 pm

    Wasn’t she using Remington before all the other makers?

  • sfvshooter March 13, 2020, 1:16 pm

    Tokyo 2020 Olympics will probably be impacted by Covid 19 so maybe she’ll be able to re-qualify.

    Also, I think she shoots at my local range.

  • Michael J March 13, 2020, 11:29 am

    Still, quite an accomplishment. The human spirit dictates that there will always be someone who’s better coming in the winds. And after that someone else. A remarkable record nonetheless.

  • Mauser6863 March 13, 2020, 10:32 am

    Well, if I were Rhodes, I would speak to Beretta and have them help you obtain Italian Citizenship, allowing you to take a spot of the Italian Team. Go and win another Gold for yourself and at the same time, “stick your thumb in the eye” of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

    The Olympics are many things and one of them is a corrupt self enrichment tool for the leadership. F-them. Get yours and get in the record books and then write a real book.

    Be an independant and powerful woman and show them what you are made of. Never let them tell you that you can’t do anything. Surrender is not an option and there is no “Fair”.

    Good Luck

  • Michael March 13, 2020, 8:17 am

    How long has Kim been using this particular shotgun? I have 3 different shotguns and each one of them feels and shoots differently. I have 2 of the same make and model, and both shoot differently. I basically have to “retrain” myself when I use a different shotgun. Not making excuses for her, just food for thought.

    • Bob March 13, 2020, 9:59 am

      Kim shot a Perazzi for most of her shooting career until Beretta “purchased” her then she switched to the Dt-11. I’m not certain what year that was but she was shooting the Beretta at Rio in 2016.
      I’d think that 4 years would be enough time to get used to the different gun but I think that she’d go back to the Perazzi if Beretta wasn’t paying her to use their gun.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend