BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — Some people have air hockey in their basement, or maybe a dart board.
But what 23-year-old Emily Quiner from Brooklyn Park has in her basement just might get her to the Olympics.
She’s got an air rifle shooting range.
“It’s the only place in the house where it has a good distance I can shoot, and practice,” she said.
In competitions she shoots pellets. But down in her basement, it’s all electronic.
“It helps me figure out how well my hold is,” she said.
From a family of hunters, Quiner has been shooting since she was 13. She even went to college for it on scholarship at Murray State University in Kentucky.
“I started training, really hard, to try to make it to the Olympics,” she said.
At least 40 shots a day — the length of a match — six days a week.
“It’s fun. It’s like super repetitive, but I just want to get the best shot possible, every time,” she said.
Since everyone almost always gets a bull’s-eye in competitions, you’re judged by how perfect of a bull’s-eye you get. On a bull’s-eye dot, the size of a pencil tip. Down to the decimals.
“The deeper the 10, the better the score,” Quiner said.
In December, she competed in USA Shooting’s Winter Air Gun Championship in Colorado. Then they pick the top three to go to the World Cup in South Korea.
After three days of competition, she finished third, beating out the fourth place finisher by a half a point.
To give you an idea of exactly how close that is, the tip of this pencil is a half millimeter. The same size as the pin dot on the target. So, essentially, after a three-day competition and 158 shots, Quiner made it to Korea by one millimeter. The same size as two of these pencil tips.
That puts her one step closer to her dream: the 2016 Olympics.
Quiner has to pay her own way to South Korea. There’s a fundraiser Sunday to help her with those costs.
It’s from noon until 2 p.m. at Broadway Pizza in Champlin.