London's calling Murrayville markswoman Dorothy Ludwig.
The 33-year-old wife and mom is also, officially, an Olympian, after a strong showing in women's 10-metre air pistol at the Canadian Olympic Trials in Calgary March 18.
Ludwig beat out her sister (Calgary's Lynda Kiejko) as well as Edmonton's Lea Wachowich for the coveted individual spot at the London 2012 Olympic Games in July.
In air pistol shooting, each competitor fires off 40 shots in an hour and 15 minutes, aiming for a bulls-eye. The best score you can achieve is 400, which Ludwig doesn't believe has ever been attained by a pistol shooter.
Ludwig shot a 372 ("although not my best," she said) and went into the finals four points ahead of the second place competitor.
In the finals, each shooter gets 10 shots, and has 75 seconds to fire off each individual shot.
Kiejko held second place and Wachowich was in third, and after the 10 shots of finals were completed, Ludwig ended up just two points clear of her sister.
After sneaking a peek at Kiejko's screen, Ludwig realized her sister wasn't able to make up enough points to beat her.
"I knew then," Ludwig said. There was a bittersweet taste to Ludwig's victory, knowing that she had edged out her sister for the spot.
"It's definitely hard to know that, we've both been working at this for such a long time, and only one of us gets to go," Ludwig said. "It was nice going into the finals and knowing that one of us is going [to the Olympics] but at the same time it's hard to know that one of us isn't going."
Ludwig said Kiejko was happy for her.
"She was definitely a bit emotional, out of joy [for me] and not out of sorrow," Ludwig shared. "That started to get me choked up."
Qualifying for the Olympics came with a personal price.
In order to win the quota spot for Canada, Ludwig had to leave her infant son for four days.
"Considering that the only other time I had been separated from him was a few hours, this was very difficult for me," Ludwig said.
On top of that, any training Ludwig did had to be at night after her son had gone to bed, and if her husband Cam wasn't available, she had to hire a babysitter.
This will be the first Olympic experience for Ludwig, who won the quota spot for Canada at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October of 2011.
In Guadalajara, Ludwig captured gold, securing a spot for Canada in London.
Competing for her country at the Olympics is a goal Ludwig has been "shooting" for the past decade and more.
In 2002, when she went to the Commonwealth Games in Manchester England, Ludwig realized that she might actually be able to make it to the Olympic stage.
Up until the Olympic qualifier, Ludwig's shining shooting moment came at those aforementioned games in Manchester, England, where she won individual silver, as well as team gold along with partner Kim Eagles.
"So I have spent 10 of those 20 years striving for a place at the Olympics," she said.
Ludwig said the Pan American and Commonwealth Games are different from the Olympics because there are always countries excluded from those events.
"It's hard to use those as markers but it does build confidence knowing, 'Well, I beat this part of the world, and I beat that part of the world,' so add in the rest and we'll see how it ends up," Ludwig said with a laugh.
She'll be a second generation Olympian.
Her father, Bill Hare, went to the Olympics as an athlete in shooting in 1964, '68, and '72.
When Hare retired from competitive shooting, he started a juniors program and asked his two daughters if they wanted to be a part of it.
"We did and here we are!" Ludwig said.
Hare passed away in 2005.
"His memory is a very emotional one for me, so I try not to think about it too much while I'm shooting, but definitely when I won that spot into the Olympics, it made a significant impact knowing that he went to three Olympics," Ludwig said.
"He probably saw this goal for me quite a bit sooner than I ever saw it for myself."
A one-day event, women's 10m air pistol is being held July 29 at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
Once in London, Ludwig's goals are simple, she said: "do my best, enjoy the experience, and put my training to the test. I've worked hard for a long time, and I'm going to keep working hard, but I am also going to enjoy this accomplishment."
Ludwig's primary goal was just to make it to the Olympics.
"If I came home with a medal, that would be icing on the cake," she said. "If I made finals, like came into the top eight, I would be ecstatic."
Take away the Pan Am Games, and Ludwig didn't compete internationally last year, so she's unsure of what her competition will be like once the Olympics roll around.
Since she's been off the international grid after the birth of her son, Ludwig doesn't know how she stacks up against the rest of the world.
"China is often up there, and the Australian girls are usually good-" she said.
"I don't even know who's exactly going to the Olympics. It's hard to predict an outcome but I know I'm going up against the top [shooters] in the world."
Ludwig hopes to be joined in London by her husband and her mom.
There's also a possibility that Kiejko may join her sister as support staff.
"We've applied for that and we're just waiting to find out," Ludwig said. "That's something we agreed upon as we were going into the [qualifying] competition. No matter what happens, we were supporting one another, cheering for one another, and still doing our best in order to win it for ourselves."
Ludwig will be taking in the opening ceremonies, describing the Olympics as, "being a part of something that brings the entire world together in a common goal and purpose."
"The Olympics is more than just a conglomeration of sporting events, it's people and countries and communities coming together to build something memorable and wonderful together," Ludwig added. "And I get to be a part of it- what a great gift."
@ Copyright 2013