I met Vera Koo several years ago at a Bianchi Cup match in Columbia, Missouri. I’m thinking it might have been about 15 years ago, when she was at the height of her shooting career. Indeed, Vera is the only woman to capture the prestigious Bianchi Cup championship in the women’s division 8 times. She sat down by me on a wooden bench, and even though she wasn’t finished competing for the day, she talked to me. Later, I would discover, that this is quite rare for her to do. I recall feeling immediately drawn to her Zen-like aura and frankly, to her professionalism. 

Fast forward to several years later, we are friends and work together regularly on her excellent series of columns here at The WON

Before I delve into her first book and what it brought to me, I’d like to expound more about that day when I met her. Vera is a highly disciplined athlete. That means that she has a routine, a regimen that most people in the shooting world know about and respect while she’s at a match. She wears blinders on her shooting glasses to block out interferences and interruptions with her performance. She goes over again and again in her head how she will shoot and what that will look like; she sometimes executes a methodical period of stretching and it looks as though she might even do a little meditation before she shoots a stage … but on that day, she sat down to talk to me because someone introduced us and she felt she had something to say.

Vera Koo The Most Unlikely Champion cover

To this day, she tells me that it was the day someone first asked her if she would write about her life. That someone? It was I. And I am so glad I planted that little seed. I believe she would have written this book, regardless of what I said or asked, but it’s still nice to think that maybe, just maybe, I played a small part in getting her to this point.

And this point is that her book is so much more than the shooting sports and what it brought to her life. It’s about Vera and how through the shooting sports, she brings salient, relevant and inspirational life stories for us to contemplate and apply to our own lives.

I read the first copy that she signed and sent to me. Then, I sent that special book to one of my favorite women, Il Ling New, who happens to be a Gunsite Academy range master (instructor). Il Ling also reviewed the book later, and then, she met Vera and Carlos Koo while at an NRA meeting in Indianapolis this past spring. Il Ling told me that she and Vera have Yuan Fen.

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


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