Sidwell Friends Junior Starlin Shi Hits the Bulls Eye at the Junior Olympics

9:20 PM, May 13, 2011   |    comments
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Sidwell Friends junior Starlin Shi practices with an air pistol at a fully equipped shooting range in her basement.

POTOMAC, Md. (WUSA) -- Sidwell Friends junior Starlin Shi has tried horse back riding, competed in beauty pageants and played tennis, but five years ago she began doing something on a whim and it's worked out pretty well.  She is now the Sport Pistol Junior National Champion.

"It's incredible...Last year was my first year at the Junior Olympics and I remember sitting in the chairs and thinking: 'I want that blue jacket,'" said Shi.

The jacket goes to the winner and Shi got it.  To train for competitions, she practices at a fully equipped shooting range in her basement and lifts weights to build arm strength.  Shi stands thirty-three feet from the target and every time she shoots, her routine is the same: deep breath, pistol down, listen for the signal, aim and fire. 

The first time Shi shot something was when she was 12 years old.  She went to visit relatives in China and during the vacation her family decided to stop by a local carnival.

"Someone had set up a laser shooting range...I tried it out, I was really good at it.  I cleaned out on the kids' range," said Shi, adding that the game operator refused to give her a prize because he thought she had received training and was trying to take advantage of the carnival.

Now, Shi's not shooting for stuffed animals anymore.  She is adding to her collection of medals from just about every where, as this high school junior's steady hand keeps her from settling for anything less than a bulls'-eye.

Reporting by Dave Owens, 9 Sports Now

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