Thursday, 19 March 2015

10 meter air rifle (an Olympic sport)

(Originally posted on Tuesday, 25 October 2016)

Do you remember the year 1992? Well, some of you were not even born then, yet. But I remember it – I was already a teenager then. That year is remembered mostly for the Dream Team (it was the first time that NBA players were allowed to participate in Summer Olympics), but I would like to mention one of the medals won by the Polish Olympic team. It was the first Olympic medal ever won by a Polish woman in shooting sports.

The medal was a bronze medal won by Małgorzata Książkiewicz in the discipline “50 metre rifle three positions”. Some time after that my father took me to a shooting range and for the first time in my life I shot with an air rifle (over a distance of 10 meters). It was awesome!

By the way: I shot with an air rifle because it doesn't use real bullets (unlike a 50 meter rifle) but small pellets that look like this:

Unfortunately even the “10 meter air rifle” sport was rather rare and costly then, so it didn't become my hobby. Interestingly during the next Summer Olympics (in 1996) another Polish woman (Renata Mauer) won a gold medal in this particular discipline:

In 2000 Renata Mauer (then already as Renata Mauer-Różańska) won another Olympic gold medal in shooting sports – this time in the discipline “50 metre rifle three positions”:

During the 2012 Summer Olympics another Polish woman (Sylwia Bogacka) won another medal in shooting sports (a silver medal in the discipline “10 meter air rifle”). The first picture shows her in a dress that was used by the women from the Polish Olympic team during the opening ceremony. Cool design. The third picture is my favourite one. The Chinese is happy because she won the gold medal and Sylwia Bogacka is happy because she had a fantastic last shot that helped her climb back to the second place.

There are either no Youtube videos from that events, or they can't be embedded to other sites. The only one I found that can be embedded is the transmission of the 2012 Olympic final by the Polish TV. It's not in English, but the visuals are pretty self explanatory.

Now, to the point of my post. (That was a long introduction, wasn't it?) Recently, by sheer accident I learned that there was an affordable shooting range in my home city. Remembering the fun I had when I was shooting an air rifle as a teenager, I decided to give it a try.

I took my daughter with me, but she was not able to handle an air rifle, so the guy running the shooting range gave her an air pistol and told her to study it on the counter. She did manage to hit the black area of the target a few times.

I did pretty well, considering that it was the first time I have been shooting with an air rifle in 20 years (more or less).

The guy running the shooting range allowed me to try different models of air rifles and the last one was the one that I “felt” very well. At one moment, right after a change of the target, I hit 5 times in a row very close to the centre of the target:

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