By Pat Boylan  |  BSU at the Games

Since as long as Danville, Indiana’s own Sarah Beard can remember, shooting has been a way of life.

Olympic shooter hopeful Sarah Beard. Photo courtesy: TCU Athletics

Her father was an Olympic shooter for the United States, and Beard picked up right where her dad left off.

“My dad has been my coach from the beginning, but he never pushed me to start shooting.” Beard said. “I practically forced him to take me to my first match because he didn’t want me to feel that pressure, and there’s no way I would be where I am without that freedom. But my dad made the connection for me between seeing these amazing athletes on TV and realizing that I could actually become one.”

Beard currently shoots for Texas Christian University, which won the National Championship this past year in large part due to Beard’s efforts in the smallbore and air rifle. Smallbore uses pellets and compressed air while air rifle uses live ammunition and is outdoors, and both require pinpoint accuracy.

“(When indoors), I aim at something the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Outdoors, you aim at something the size of the eraser at the end of a pencil, and other variables such as wind need to be factored in,” Beard said.

Qualifications for this year’s Olympic Games are underway. Beard is having her tryouts June 6 through 8.

“Ever since I was a kid, I remember being obsessed with the Olympics,” Beard said. “Every sport was so complex and unique, and it amazed me that the athletes could reach a level of mind and body control that was so close to perfection.”

Pat Boylan is a junior telecommunications major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Pat and the BSU team at @patboylanbsu@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.