Like Presidential elections, serious preparation for the Olympic Games starts a couple of years in advance of the big day. In recent issues of the Airgun Wire, you’ve probably noticed a flood of stories about various World Cup competitions leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Games. We thought it would be fun to follow the journey of one of the aspiring Olympic Airgun shooters from Team USA.
One of the best parts of attending the NRA Annual Conference is meeting new and interesting people. I had the pleasure of talking with USA Shooting team member Kellie Foster and her family. While on her way to an appearance at the Eley Ammunition booth, we had an opportunity to chat for a bit about Kellie’s shooting career. Here’s what she had to say.
Airgun Wire: So, Kellie. Tell us about your specialties. What competitions do you shoot?
Kellie Foster: I shoot both Air Pistol and Sport Pistol, which is .22 caliber pistols at a range of 25-meters.
AGW: Did you start with .22 rimfire or air pistols? When did you start shooting?
Kellie: I began with Air Pistol in the 4-H program. I started when I was 10-years old. It was a father-daughter bonding time activity. I became involved with USA Shooting when I was 13 and after that competed in the Nationals. About a year later, I was able to represent USA Shooting at the World Championships in Grenada, Spain.
AGW: That’s a big leap in a very short time. How did you go from plinking at home and competing in local 4-H matches to World-class competition?
Kellie: I was doing really well in the local 4-H program and winning a lot of competitions. My dad really encouraged me to get better by competing against people better than I was. He believed that adding even more challenge would help me focus and take my shooting to the next level. When I got involved with USA Shooting, I realized that there are a lot of really talented and skilled shooters out there, so that really increased my motivation and focus.
AGW: Do you have a coach now?
Kellie: I’ve only had a coach helping me for about the past year. I’m currently working with Vladimir Chichkov who coaches for the National Pistol Team. He’s the representative for Pardini competition guns here in the United States. I also am being coached by Libby Callahan. She’s the National Pistol Coach for USA Shooting.
AGW: What guns are you shooting?
Kellie: I actually started with Walther guns for both Air and Sport Pistol. My Walther was a LP400 Match Air Pistol. More recently, I’ve switched to Pardini for both sports. My Air Pistol gun is a Pardini K12.