Shooting for the Olympic gold

A shot rings out as sophomore Annabell Yi, proudly wearing the flag of the United States, sends a bullet flying straight into the target. For Yi, what others can only dream about is her reality, representing her country in multiple international competitions.

Yi’s shooting career began at the age of nine with the influence of her brother, simply following his lead without knowing exactly what she was getting into.

“I gradually fell in love with the sport because it brought me and my siblings closer together; not only that, I really liked the environment being with my teammates,” Yi said.

Since the start of her shooting career, Yi has gone out to train almost every day at the Bridge Jr. Shooting Club in La Puente. While indoor at the club, she uses pellets to shoot, only using live bullets when she’s outside at the Prado Olympic Shooting Park in Chino.  

“We warm up and stretch out, of course, and I like to keep a daily journal on my training regimen,” Yi said. “We also do endurance training where we have to hold our guns up for a minute or so at a time.”

Yi says that such drills help both physically and mentally during her hour-and-fifteen-minute matches, helping her with the endurance of aiming the pistol and with managing emotions when competing. Overall, her training has been a challenge that has paid off through Yi’s international achievements.

After placing in the top 3 at the Junior Olympic Championships in June of this year, Yi’s name was put onto the National Junior Olympic Team. While on this national team, she was able to qualify for the International Championship in Lima, Peru, where Team USA placed fourth out of 25 countries.

“It’s a learning experience, really,” Yi said. “With every single match that you go to, you learn new things, and with the things that you learn, you become a better athlete.”

Yi has bright hopes for her future with the sport, looking to qualify into military academies like the Coast Guard Academy and even higher than that.

“If I continue going with this sport, possibly even the Olympics,” Yi said.