One of America’s least known Olympians is one of the most successful Olympic medalists in U.S. history.
Twenty years ago, the Olympics were held in Atlanta with big names reaching golden summits. But there was also a 16-year-old girl who quietly made history.
“When I won it really didn’t hit me what I had accomplished,” Rhode said.
She became the youngest woman in the history of Olympic shooting to win gold.
“I truthfully didn’t know where to end up putting the medal. I think I ended up putting it in a sock drawer in the Olympic village," she said.
Rhode said the win really hit her when she got home. She was still in high school, and dealing with the media coverage.
That was just the start of a very successful career. Rhode came back in 2000 to win bronze in Sydney, then gold in Athens, silver in Beijing, and gold again in London.
She had five medals in five straight Olympics -- the only American to ever do it
“When you’re up on that podium, watching the American flag go to the top of the pole, hearing that national anthem," said Rhode. "It’s really memories of that journey to get to that moment. It’s those emotions that get you crying.”
In the Olympics, success is often fleeting. Make one Games, you’re already elite. Compete for a decade, you’re in the rarest of rare.
For the past 20 years, Rhode’s one constant has been Olympic gold.
The other constant -- her family.
Between last Olympics and these Olympics, that spectacle added a new member.
“It’s challenging. It’s wonderful. My son is two-and-a-half and into everything, the little daredevil, as all two year olds can be.”
Son Carter, husband Mike, and the rest of Kim’s family will root for her as she seeks yet another medal. Six medals in six Games? That would be a world record.
“One of the oldest medalists in the history of the Olympics was a shooter. His name was Oscar Swann. I think he was 72,” Rhone said.
Longevity is the beauty of her sport and its current queen as she now heads to Rio.
“I don’t see any end in sight," said Rhone.