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Athlete to Watch: Sarah Beard Sarah Beard (Dan-

ville, Ind.) was born to shoot. Daughter of 1984 Olympian Bill Beard, this 22-year-old is fi nally starting to ful- fi ll the aspirations she acquired from staring at daddy’s trophies as a child. In them she saw the world, and now as a competitive shooter herself, she’s building her own trophy collec- tion and her grandest destination, Rio de Ja- neiro, is more a reality than ever before. She enjoyed a 2013 season by winning two national titles in three-position and prone rifl e while also earning a bronze medal in air.


opens up in this USA Shooting News about motivation, her new training ground and her father’s infl uence.

What motivates you?

Honestly, it all boils

down to my love of the sport. I remember when I began my college career and couldn’t spend enough time on the range, not because I was good, but simply because I loved solving problems and learn- ing how I performed at my peak. In some kind of weird way, I also enjoyed the frustration and internal struggles that were always pres- ent.

Photo by: Jeff Kearney 58 USA Shooting News | Year in Review 2013

What infl uence has your dad’s Olympic career had on you both as a person and as a competitor? Between my dad as a shooter and him as a person, I looked up to him more than anyone grow- ing up. He showed me that you can accomplish more than you might think, and still be a genu- ine and caring person. Also, that you should value the respect that others have for who you are more than the respect that they have for what you’ve done.

What’s the best piece of advice your father has ever given you about shooting?

That in the end, it’s just a

match. When it comes to a com- petition, you either win or learn something.

How has the move to the Olympic Training Center benefi ted you? Having the freedom to train

whenever I want and as much as I want is defi nitely a plus. Also, I love the atmosphere from be- ing around the other sports that gives any competition more of a “Team USA” feel.

In your words, describe what the 2013 shooting season has been like for you? Like any season, it’s had its ups and downs. My last NCAA Cham- pionship wasn’t a high point, but that began another learning curve for me that went through USAS Nationals to World Cup Spain. This year has been more about overall mental approach to competitions rather than fo-

cusing on the technical details for me.

Looking back on your NCAA Rifl e career at TCU, what was that expe- rience like and what did you gain from the oppor- tunity? Overall, it was a pretty incred- ible experience. I already miss having matches so often for the training. My learning curve for shooting in college was so steep simply because we had so many competitions, and I was con- stantly learning what worked and what didn’t. Being able to win NCAA’s twice with a team I con- stantly trained with is something special that I’ll never forget.

What you like most about shooting? I love the people. The encour-

agement in conversations I’ve had with them has helped me grow in my shooting, my faith, and my personal life. If you think about it, the shooting community is a really strange mixture of all kinds of crazy, awkward, funny, and ridiculously smart people, but that’s what I love about it.

What do you like least about shooting? When I was little, I was a

dreamer. I still am, but I’ve re- alized that in order to pursue something with the passion that I have for shooting, some of those dreams must be sacri- fi ced. If I could live 5 more lives, then I might be able to do all the things I want to do. But I’m not Hindu, so I’ve pretty much given up on that idea.

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