I met Vera Koo in 2013 when I competed at the Bianchi Cup for the first time in Columbia, Missouri. During the awards ceremony, a few women handed out roses to all the female competitors, mentioning they were from Vera. How nice was that? Even though she rarely attended the evening’s festivities, she always sent roses, every year. 

My admiration of Vera began when I found out her shooting career didn’t start until she was in her 40s, the same as me at the time. She gave me hope and validation for my new career path; she became my inspiration. It wasn’t too late for me to try something new. 

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Michelle Cerino and Vera Koo at the 2015 Bianchi Cup

Imagine my excitement when I started writing for The WON and learned Vera was also a columnist. I anxiously awaited each month to read her next article, learning bits and pieces about her life. 

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Michelle and Vera 2016 Crawfish Cup

In January 2016, when I became managing editor at The WON, my relationship with Vera grew. I now had the opportunity to work with her on a monthly basis – since she sent me both her photos and copy. I enjoyed my sneak peek at her inspiring adventures. As I read the copy, I felt like Vera was telling me a secret, well … until I posted it online at The WON. 

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For Christmas of 2017, Vera Koo sent me a signed copy of her book, The Most Unlikely Champion. Since I thought I knew everything about her, I simply glanced through it and then, set it aside for a few months. What a mistake … I couldn’t have been more wrong. Once I finally made the time to read her book, I didn’t want to put it down. The Vera I thought I knew was not only a world champion, but also a resilient, strong woman who deserves more respect than anyone I know.

Continue reading this review at Women’s Outdoor News here.

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