Libby Callahan Shoots With Eye on Prize in Beijing

Elizabeth Callahan, the U.S. Olympic straight shooter from South Carolina, loves baking, gardening and pulling the trigger. Known to her friends as Libby, she is the oldest known American woman to compete in the Olympics.

"I'm not much for titles -- little asterisks next to your name," Callahan, 56, said.

Callahan had no idea of her talents until she joined the Washington, D.C., police force in 1975, when women were far outnumbered by men.

When men first saw her at the range, they knew she had something special.

"Well, yes, they were impressed," she said with a laugh. "That's why they encouraged me to go out and compete."

And so she did, winning her first match and beating both male and female competition ever since.

Before her formal training with the police department, Callahan had practice competing in her childhood, she said.

Callahan grew up one of eight children; her seven brothers kept her on her game and watched her become an Olympian.

"Well, they don't tease me as much," Callahan said. "They're proud of me."

Callahan competed in the 1992, 1996 and 2004 Olympic Games, making Beijing her fourth Olympic run. She has never won a medal. In July, she qualified to compete in Beijing, coming in second in the sport pistol competition.

After placing 19th and 30th in sport and air pistol in Athens, Callahan has her eyes on a medal this time around. And her chances look good.

She is the most experienced shooter on the U.S. pistol team and the top American shooter in her events.

Though many of her teammates are in their 20s, Callahan is confident that she can hold her own.

"I just love to compete, and I still love to do it," she said. "If I'm around in four years and I still love to do it, I'll be back again."

Callahan looks forward to future games, but don't be fooled. She is focused on Wednesday's sport pistol competition.

The woman who turned heads on the Washington, D.C., police force back in the 70s hopes to do it again -- this time with the world watching.

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