Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sports: Olympic Shooting

Watching Olympic level athletes is sometimes exhilarating aesthetically, but mostly I just marvel at the lifelong dedication needed to compete at that level. Michael Phelps and Nastia Liukin probably started training when they were kids; there's little hope that the average adult could train up to those standards no matter how hard they tried.

Shooting is different. You don't have to possess a weightlifter's strength or a gymnast's dexterity. In the non-shotgun competitions, you don't even need particularly good reflexes. Good shooting technique can be learned relatively quickly, and even Olympic-level skill is within reach for a novice adult.

Case in point:

Doubtless there's a lot of talent and dedication involved, but it's nice that shooting is an Olympic game where people aren't locked out just because their parents weren't able to put them into the sport at an early age.

Of course, the formal target shooting you'll see in Beijing isn't exactly representative of the skillsets one might need for self-defense, unless you're defending yourself from highly aggressive (yet stationary) black paper dots. I wonder why practical shooting competition hasn't made it into the Olympics proper. Not enough of a track record? Restrictive gun laws in most countries?


At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

"...highly aggressive (yet stationary) black paper dots..."

I lost a friend to a black paper dot. They are fierce.


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