Kim Rhode has worked extremely hard to become the Olympic shooting legend that she is today.
Still, Rhode knows she’s had a good amount of help and support in order to get to the position she is in. This begs the question: what could she do to show her appreciation to those along the way?
“It kind of started as a way for me to say thank you to everybody who has supported me leading up to the Olympics,” Rhode said.
Since her first Olympics, Rhode has spent her down time at the Games searching and trading for cool pins.
“One of the things I did at that first Olympics and at previous Olympics is collect pins and I thought, what better way to show thanks than to create your own Olympic pin,” she remarked. “So that is what I did.”
She doesn’t make many pins though, so there is a level of exclusivity to it.
“I only have a limited amount made,” Rhode stated. “They are all serial numbered so they are one of say 300, and they have my signature on the back.”
Even so, she still makes sure they get into the right hands.
“I give them to my sponsors to just kind of say thank you and also to charity and to people that just want to trade pins,” she added.
What makes it an even greater tradition for Rhode is her father’s role in the process.
“My dad is usually the one who draws them out so it’s very much a family thing,” she said. “My dad tends to put everything on them too. I always have to rein him in so he doesn’t put everything on them, but you know how dads are.”
This passion for pins she possesses certainly hasn’t let her down when it comes to success at the Olympics. Perhaps it’s her lucky charm contributing to her streak of five consecutive Olympics with a medal.
“I think there is two bobble heads, one or two different light ups and one other,” Rhode said. “I think it’s four or five pins.”
If you’re surprised she was allowed to use the Olympics logo on her pins, well there’s an answer for that.
“I had to jump through a lot of hoops to get them approved and get the Olympic rings approved,” Rhode claimed. “But they are official Olympic pins.”
If she becomes the first Summer Olympian to win six-straight individual medals, many will vie for the chance to own her next pin.
Rhode competes in the skeet event on August 12th, where she looks to repeat as the gold medalist. Catch all the action on NBCOlympics.com.