Vera’s Blog

A 5-year (and counting!) collection of posts from “Vera Koo” – the column penned by Vera, and published by Women’s Outdoor News. Soon to be a book, title coming soon.
Vera Koo: Why I Pushed Through the Pain to Return to Competition

Vera Koo: Why I Pushed Through the Pain to Return to Competition

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published May 17, 2015 Vera Koo describes why she has been pushing through pain of a knee injury to return to one of the shooting sports’ most prestigious competitions. They told me it could not be done. The first doctor who saw me...

One Foot in Front of the Other in Return to Shooting the Bianchi Cup

One Foot in Front of the Other in Return to Shooting the Bianchi Cup

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published March 24, 2014 Each March marks an inaugural athletic event. No, I’m not referring to baseball’s spring training, or basketball’s March Madness. On my calendar, March 1 marks the first day of my personal spring preparation;...

Vera Koo: Shing Ping and Facing Your Fears

Vera Koo: Shing Ping and Facing Your Fears

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published December 2, 2013 One of America’s great leaders, Franklin D. Roosevelt, once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This mantra is etched into American hearts and American history. But, what is our obsession...

Vera Koo: How to Become a Champion Shooter

Vera Koo: How to Become a Champion Shooter

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published October 22, 2013 There is no real formula for becoming a champion. What works for me is focus and a single mindedness that sometimes causes people to think I am aloof. I am hard on myself and do not want to fail. Becoming a...

Vera Koo: Bianchi Cup Competition Gear

Vera Koo: Bianchi Cup Competition Gear

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published March 28, 2016 The Bianchi Cup, a shooting competition which occurs near Columbia, Mo., each May, is not only a contest of skill, but also is an equipment race. Every competitor tries to have the latest technology –...

Vera Koo: A Champion’s Mindset to the Shooting Sports

Vera Koo: A Champion’s Mindset to the Shooting Sports

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published November 6, 2013 What does the world think a shooter looks like? Perhaps a middle-aged male, wearing camouflage or blaze orange, speaking with an accent, and driving a truck. Is that a stereotype? Is that our stereotype?...

Vera Koo: Why You Must Exercise if You Want to Shoot

Vera Koo: Why You Must Exercise if You Want to Shoot

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published April 29, 2016 I think of our bodies as our vehicles that allow us to travel through life. If you want your vehicle to perform, you must keep it fueled and give it the necessary maintenance. The same is true with our...

Why You Should Compete at State and Regional Shooting Tournaments

Why You Should Compete at State and Regional Shooting Tournaments

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published September 30, 2015 Competing at the Bianchi Cup is not for the meek and faint hearted. The national event can be very intimidating because of the high number of participants, plus the spectators. The energy is high-powered....

Retro WON: Get Out There and Compete in Regional and State Matches

Retro WON: Get Out There and Compete in Regional and State Matches

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published August 24, 2017 Kevin Angstadt offered me some sound advice several years ago during a time when my Bianchi Cup performance had taken a step back. He told me I should consider competing in more regional and state matches to...

Vera Koo: Is the End of a Shooting Career in Her Sights?

Vera Koo: Is the End of a Shooting Career in Her Sights?

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published December 16, 2015 Vera Koo describes why she is looking at the end of her shooting career, and reflects on her decision. Some of my shooting friends like to remind me that I have been two years away from retirement for the...

Vera Koo: Why I am Retiring from Shooting Sports

Vera Koo: Why I am Retiring from Shooting Sports

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published July 3, 2018 I was precise in everything I did throughout my sport shooting career. I was precise in the way I practiced. I was precise in the way I ate in the weeks leading up to a match. I was precise in the way I...

Shooting Champion Vera Koo Joins Women’s Outdoor News

Shooting Champion Vera Koo Joins Women’s Outdoor News

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published October 22, 2013 She’s a warrior. She’ll tell you what that means to her in her first column at Women’s Outdoor News (The WON). Vera Koo, professional competition shooter, describes her rise to the top of the shooting...

Staving Off Physical and Mental Deterioration with a New Sport

Staving Off Physical and Mental Deterioration with a New Sport

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published January 28, 2020 After I turned 70 and later retired from competitive shooting, I knew I needed to find ways to keep my body in shape and my mind sharp. I cannot ignore the facts. I am getting old. I have turned 73 last...

In Search of the Perfect Athlete, a Dressage Horse

In Search of the Perfect Athlete, a Dressage Horse

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published October 21, 2019 He wanted to find a perfect athlete who demonstrated focus. One who maintained their body and avoided injury. One who had the mental makeup to not only handle thousands of hours of practice, but also the...

Love at First Shot: Vera Koo, the Shooting Sports and Mentoring

Love at First Shot: Vera Koo, the Shooting Sports and Mentoring

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published July 31, 2019 When NRA Women asked me to appear on an episode of the online television show “Love at First Shot,” I agreed to do it because I thought it was a chance to give back to the shooting sports. In particular, it...

Women and the Gun Movement

Women and the Gun Movement

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published March 13, 2019 Vera Koo describes the modern-day women’s gun movement and highlights viable women’s shooting organizations throughout the world. ~BB Victoria Knowles-Lacks describes her gun club in simple terms. “We shoot,...

Vera Koo: Why Women Learn from a Female Instructor

Vera Koo: Why Women Learn from a Female Instructor

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published June 28, 2016 I have been blessed throughout my shooting career to learn from some great teachers and mentors, men such as Jim O’Young. I never had a female instructor. For me, this was OK. I wanted to advance my knowledge...

Vera Koo: On What’s Next after the Shooting Sports

Vera Koo: On What’s Next after the Shooting Sports

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published July 26, 2018 I hear many people talk about what they want to do “some day.” Too often, though, “some day” never arrives until the window of opportunity has closed and they can no longer do what they always said they wanted...

How to Become a Public Speaker and Influencer

How to Become a Public Speaker and Influencer

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published June 17, 2019 More than 20 years ago, my husband, Carlos, and I attended a self-improvement seminar. Probably 100 people were there, and we were all asked to stand up and say what we were afraid of. In an interesting twist,...

Retro WON: Benefits of Outdoor Sports and Activities

Retro WON: Benefits of Outdoor Sports and Activities

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, January 23, 2020 When I moved from Hong Kong to the United States at 12 years old, I did not understand the obsession this country has with sports. Years later, I now see why Americans put such value on sports. Sports teach you...

Retro WON: Yuanfen and 2 Pieces of Jade

Retro WON: Yuanfen and 2 Pieces of Jade

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, February 21, 2019 In the Chinese culture, we believe in a concept called Yuanfen, which is when fate brings two people together. If you have Yuanfen with another person, you will feel comfortable with that person. You can talk with...

Vera Koo: Why College Matters

Vera Koo: Why College Matters

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, February 11, 2019 When I enrolled at San Francisco State after graduating high school, I do not think I realized just how valuable the next 4 years of my life would be. I attended college because my friends were going to college. It...