Going to the Olympics is a dream come true — something I had been working toward for a long time. Having it finally come to fruition is exciting.
My father was a three-time Olympian who retired from competing to start a training program for juniors. My little sister and I were just the right age to begin the program. He asked if we wanted to try it and we said, “sure!” and we’ve been shooting ever since.
It was something we could share — me, my dad and my little sister. It was fun; It was really rewarding to be able to share that with them, and now that he’s passed away, it’s nice to be able to hold onto that.
When I first started to shoot, my shots were all over the place and I would say, “My gun does not work.” He would take the gun and shoot a ten every time to show me that my gun worked and that he was a star. I was always amazed. My dad let us make our own choices so we could realize our own dreams rather than forcing a dream on us. He didn’t tell us the Olympics were within our grasp, he let us discover it on our own, which made it that much more exciting. We drove ourselves that much more when we realized we could reach the potential our dad was at. I would have loved to have him here to share in this moment, but I think he knew this would be in my future.
There was a time when competition was not fun. People would come up to me and talk about my dad. That was not easy for me. I felt obligated to continue shooting in my dad’s memory, for other people. That was a real struggle for me, but I couldn’t not shoot. I couldn’t turn away from it because I had put so much into it with him and with my sister.
This made me start questioning and looking at my faith [in Jesus Christ] more deeply. It was both scary and a good thing. I realized that God is there through the good things and the bad things. He has a perfect plan and just because I don’t like it, it doesn’t mean it’s not the best thing for me. My faith helped to bring me to an understanding of my purpose. I understand my reliance on God has to be whole and complete, not in part.
I will do my best on the day of competition or any other day — in my work or in my family — I know God loves me and that I’m not just an athlete. My identity is not wrapped up in shooting, but this is a part of who I am — who God designed me to be. In order to keep myself focused, calm and relaxed, I find God in the small breaths. I find Him in the breaths between the shots, the breaths while I’m relaxing, the breaths while I’m not focused on making that one shot. And in that, God is always in it. You’ll always find God in the small moments you take to rest, to look and to listen.
— Dorothy Ludwig, Canadian shooter