Kim Rhode’s pursuit of history has just taken one step further.
Rhode has secured her spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team in women’s skeet shooting, ensuring that she will be competing in her sixth consecutive Olympic Games and chasing her sixth consecutive Olympic medal. She earned her qualification with a dominating performance at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Tillar, Arkansas; ahead of her closest competitor by 14 points, Rhode locked up her spot in Rio before even competing in Friday's final.
Before even setting foot in Rio, Rhode has already made her mark in the history books. She is one of just 51 athletes in history to win five or more Olympic medals and is the first U.S. Olympian ever to win medals at five consecutive Olympic Games in an individual sport, tying basketball player Teresa Edwards for most consecutive Olympic medals earned by an American athlete. Simply competing in Rio will make her just the second U.S. woman ever to compete in six Olympic Games. She also becomes the first U.S. Olympian to qualify for an Olympic team on five different continents; she won gold at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, bronze in Sydney, Australia in 2000, gold in Athens in 2004 and London in 2012, and silver in Beijing in 2008.
With another medal in Rio, Rhode would stand alone at the top and tie Italian luge great Armin Zöggeler for most consecutive individual Olympic medals won by any Olympian. Six medals would tie her for most all-time Olympic medals in shooting and double the all-time total of anyone else in the shotgun discipline. Should she win gold, it would be her fourth and make her the first shooter to win four Olympic gold medals. It would also tie her with diver Pat McCormick as the only American female summer Olympic athlete to earn four individual gold medals.
Rhode has been a dominant force in the shooting world since 1995, when she made her first national team. Since then she’s won 14 national championships and 35 medals from international competitions including the Olympics. Her 23 world cup medals ties her for most all-time in shotgun and she’s a four-time Pan American Games gold medalist in skeet and double trap.
Rhode joins skeet shooters Morgan Craft and Vincent Hancock, and double trap shooters Glenn Eller and Josh Richmond on the U.S. Olympic shotgun team. Two other shooters (men's skeet, women's trap) will join them on the roster by the time U.S. Olympic Team Trials conclude on May 25.