This article, written by AsAmNews Staff Writer Olivia Wolf, describes how Vera Koo shoots down expectations.
At 71 years of age, Vera Koo remains one of the fiercest competitors in action pistol shooting. A two time world champion and an eight time national champion of the Bianchi Cup, Koo is currently training in Missouri for the 2018 National Bianchi Cup and World Action Pistol Championship. The Cup is the most prestigious action pistol tournament in the world.
In the beginning of her career, Koo was often the only woman at tournaments. As a Chinese female standing at 5-foot-4 and weighing 120 pounds, she was somewhat of an anomaly in a predominantly male sport.
“I’ve been patronized, yelled at, and scolded,” said Koo. “People would say I was only at the shooting range looking for men, even though I was happily married.”
Once, a businessman from China advised Koo’s husband to whip her and lock her in the house for competing.
“I immigrated here from Hong Kong when I was 12. This is my culture, my age, where I come from” Koo explained. “My mother raised me to be a good wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, and a good person to my friends. I was never expected to do anything else.”
When asked by club members if she was any good, she’d humbly answer, “I’m OK,” even though she was already a national and world champion. “It doesn’t bother me. I just let my scores show them who I am,” she said.
While Koo is sometimes questioned by amateurs, she is rarely criticized by other high level shooters. However, she acknowledges that her peculiar stance must be strange for others to see.
“A lot of men try to correct my form, and I have to tell them that this is the only way I can leverage my weight.” Most competitors are fifty to two-hundred pounds heavier, giving them the advantage in strength and stability; Koo compensates through vigorous exercise and good technique.
She believes that being older helped her to deal with some of the discrimination that she’s faced. “I’ve been through a lot, so the small things don’t touch me. My only concern is self-improvement.”
Read the full article at AsAmNews.