Kim Rhode during a competition in April. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)
The competitors she will face may not provide as much of a roadblock to success for Olympic shooter Kim Rhode of Monrovia as the airlines.
Rhode, who actually has become one of the bigger names in these Olympics despite the obscurity of her sport, recently arrived in London after having to reshuffle her schedule. The culprit? Two straight days of canceled flights at LAX.
"I got to the gate last Friday," Rhode said Thursday in London, "and was handing them my suitcase when they said my flight had been canceled and they were booking me on one the next day. So I gathered up my stuff, went home, came back the next day and the flight was canceled again."
Her plan was to join her U.S. shooting teammates for a quick training camp in Denmark, then come with them to London. Being in Denmark would not only sharpen her eye, but get her body on European time.
"But once we got the second cancellation," Rhode said, "we decided to skip the Denmark camp, do a little more shooting at home and then come directly to London."
Sunday, she will attempt to become the first U.S. athlete in an individual sport to win a medal in a fifth straight Olympic Games. She won gold in Atlanta, bronze in Sydney, gold in Athens and silver in Beijing. The first shot at history will be Sunday, in her best event, skeet.
Thursday, at a press gathering, she was asked how she felt.
"Jet-lagged," she said.
Michael Phelps is ready to retire
USOC fires back at Olympic political ad
U.S. women rally to defeat France in soccer, 4-2