Langley sharpshooter bronzed at Commonwealth Games

Dorothy Ludwig has added another international medal to her already impressive collection.

The 35-year-old Langley resident captured individual bronze in the women’s 10m air pistol competition at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Ludwig’s kid sister, 33-year-old Lynda Kiejko, finished in fifth place.

The shooting events were held at a satellite village in Dundee.

“It was amazing, it’s always amazing,” Ludwig said. “The volunteers are fabulous, the competitors are amazing, and the weather was gorgeous. It really cooperated while we were there.”

This bronze is Ludwig’s fourth Commonwealth medal.

At the 2002 Games in Manchester, England she took individual silver and team gold, and in 2010 in Delhi, India she was part of Canada’s bronze medal-winning team.

At this year’s Games, the team competition didn’t exist, otherwise, Ludwig said she would have come home with two medals.

Making her latest medal even more impressive is the fact she’s juggling shooting practice with a full-time job and being a mom to two young boys, Erden, three, and Emmet, one.

“It’s harder because I don’t train quite as often now that I have two little kids at home,” Ludwig said. “I find getting into the range is more difficult, finding extra time is more difficult.”

But there’s no substitute for experience, something Ludwig has in abundance.

Ludwig’s career mirrors that of her father, the late Bill Hare, who competed in shooting events at the 1964, ‘68 and ‘72 Olympic Games.

Ludwig realized her own Olympic dream in 2012 when she shot for Canada at the London Olympics, finishing 34th in women’s 10-metre air pistol.

“The opportunity to attend the Olympics was extremely rewarding, and I know I had my family, friends and community behind me,” Ludwig said after returning from the Games in 2012. “It was a real thrill to be able to live with, train with, and compete with the best in the world, and I put my best effort in and was able to come home smiling.”

Nationally and internationally, she’s been on target.

Last August, Ludwig, who trains at the Langley Rod & Gun Club, won the women’s air pistol title at the 2013 Canadian national pistol championship in Calgary.

This was the eighth national title for Ludwig, who previously accomplished this feat in 2012, ‘11, ‘08, ‘07, ‘06, ‘04, and ‘03.

And in 2011, she placed first (individual competition) at the Canadian national championships to earn her spot on Team Canada for the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, where she won gold and secured an Olympic quota spot for the 2012 Games in London.

In Glasgow, shooters had 40 shots in qualification and between eight and 20 shots in the elimination finals. Competitors shot at an electronic target with a bulls-eye centre.  

“I did very well,” Ludwig said. “The finals have changed because it’s more of an elimination process, so you have to continue to shoot your best or you’re eliminated.”

Looking towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ludwig is making a bid to become a two-time Olympian.

However, not only are there plenty of talented shooters in Canada vying for an Olympic berth, but the question will be, will this nation be able to win a quota spot for the Olympics?

“That’s always the really, really challenging spot for us,” Ludwig said.

As well, Ludwig won’t be competing at the world championships in Spain. She’s qualified to compete but doesn’t have the funds to go there due to family commitments.

“I can’t afford to go, to have my kids in day care, and not be working, yeah, it’s just too expensive,” she said.

This isn’t the end. Ludwig plans on competing for a long time.

“It’s been a part of my life for so long, and part of my dad’s life,” Ludwig said. "We’ve come to identify a little bit with it, and just to enjoy it. For me, it’s hard to let go of that. It’s just something I’ve done for so long. You keep doing it because you’re good at it, you enjoy it.”

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