Time has faded the memory of how Vera Koo agreed to start contributing monthly columns to this publication (Women’s Outdoor News). It happened after meeting her at a prestigious pistol shooting match several years ago, and talking about how valuable her life story could be to others. I thought surely Vera would be able to inspire other women to try the shooting sports. But little did I imagine that she would go on to inspire women to aspire to greatness within themselves.

方蓁的第一本书《巾帼枪神 世界冠军之路》回忆录(与贾斯汀.帕尔合着)于二0一七年出版。通过这本书,我看到了方蓁如何克服人人终其一生都可能经历到的一些最具挑战性的人生状况——例如死亡与背叛。在整本书中,她从不孤芳自赏,而是自我振作勇往直前,说明为什么她付出的努力都不会枉费。这就是我们从她身上学到的东西——无论人生丢给我们的是什么,都值得我们正面以对。


Shortly after Vera wrote the first book, she began compiling her second book, “《巾帼枪神 意念表现之源》” (with co-author Blake Toppmeyer). Again, the unlikely champion moniker that she hangs on herself is well-earned. You’ll find out why if you read the first book. But in this book, she organizes her thoughts into sections: 

  • 成为冠军
  • 愈挫愈勇
  • 第三部:宗教信仰、哲学思想、内省关照
  • 第四部:行旅心得

Although I’ve read most of these essays, in the form of her columns at The WON, I enjoyed how she grouped the topics in the book. Vera draws parallels between shooting and life, or travel and life. In fact, the travel section ranks as my favorite. You’ll understand, after you read this part, that Vera is an itinerate traveler, always ready for the next adventure. (TeamWON is hoping that she’ll be able to travel to China in 2022 to attend the Shanghai Book Fair.)


Vera, who is now in her mid-70s, enjoyed an illustrious shooting career that began when she was in her 40s. After successfully raising and family and building a real estate business with her husband, Carlos, in the Bay Area, Vera sought first a distraction in shooting, and then, a mission. 


She explains her need for speed on the range, along with accuracy, that have nothing to do with receiving accolades. Vera is known as an extremely private person, and more than one competitor has wondered if the side blinders she wore on her shooting glasses were meant for the range or were more like ear buds on an airplane. She simply wanted to get into the zone and stay there until she ran the course – blocking out distractions. 

From “Wisdom and Things”

Vera writes, “The shooting sport takes more than God-given talent to be an elite competitor. You must be mentally tough, committed and focused. When others want a day off, you must be willing to practice. This is how you get ahead in the sport.”  And then, she relates it to life – “It is like life. Only with unrelenting persistence can you expect to reach your full potential.”


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