United States

Coast Guard Graduates Put Military Careers on Hold to Train for 2020 Olympics

Recent graduates of the Coast Guard Academy Helen Oh and Brian Kim are staying on campus to train for the 2020 Olympics in the sport of pistol shooting.

“During the shooting, I’m laser focused and I try to eliminate any thoughts,” said Kim, who is hoping to qualify in the 10m air pistol and 25m rapid fire pistol events.

“You have to visualize that you are going to shoot a ten ring every time,” added Oh, who is aiming to qualify in the 10m air pistol and 25m women’s sport pistol.

Both stick to a regimented schedule and train for three to four hours a day.

“I wake up at 5:15 a.m. every day,” said Kim. “I don’t look at my phone a lot because I want my eyes to rest. If I do drink any caffeinated drink, I do feel the tremor in my hands when I hold it out.”

“It’s definitely a lifestyle because you have to be in the mentality of being an Olympic athlete,” said Oh.

Brian and Helen are delaying the start of their military careers in hopes of representing the United States in Tokyo.

“It would mean the world to me because I have so much passion for the sport,” said Oh.

“Making the team is more than just myself, but everyone who supported me and helped me get to this place,” added Kim.

Both are training daily with their college coach Richard Hawkins, who was an Olympic hopeful himself 35 years ago.

“If you want to beat everyone else in the world and be an Olympic champion, all things being equal, it’s the person who is most dedicated, disciplined and motivated,” said Hawkins.

Concentration and focus are vitally important to their success in competition.

“I try to think about shooting a ten, I try to think about my entire process,” said Oh.

“Perfect your process,” added Hawkins. “In this game, there’s no room for error."

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