There are as many as a quarter of a million female gun owners in Canada. Although the sport is still a long ways away from becoming gender balanced, noticeable strides are being made.
At the forefront of the movement are this year’s Olympics. With almost 49 per cent of those competing at the games being female, the 2020 games will be the world’s first gender-balanced Olympics in history.
In honour of this momentous step forward for women in shooting, we’d like to honour a few legendary Candian female gunnies. Starting with Lynda Kiejko, who will be competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, as Canada’s lone shooting sports athlete.
Lynda Kiejko – The family legacy
Lynda Kiejko comes from a family of gunnies, including her late father, Bill Hare, a three-time pistol shooting Olympian, and sister Dorothy Ludwig, who made her Olympic debut in 2016. Lynda started shooting when she was 11, and has had an impressive shooting career. Most notably; winning gold in the 10m air pistol event at the 2018 Continental American Championships. A title she earned only one month after giving birth.
Linda Thom – The most unlikely of champions
Linda Thom made a name for herself in the 1984 Olympics, when the mother of 2 took a break from her catering business to casually win Olympic Gold, making her the first female Canadian Olympic champion since 1928. Linda’s accomplishments in the sports have not gone unnoticed, as she has been named the Female Amateur Athlete of the year by the Sports Federation of Canada, awarded the Velma Springstead Trophy for Outstanding Female Athlete, and inducted into Canada’s Hall of Fame in 1992, making her a household name in the world of shooting.
Cynthia Meyer – The Sunday school teacher
Like many of the other women on this list, Cynthia Meyer got into the sport because of her father. “My father had shot as a child in New York. A NY State work friend of his reintroduced him to shooting when I was in University. Within a year, he and I were traveling around North America competing. I studied for the NY bar exam in a car in between shooting my rounds. I passed.”
With three Olympic games under her belt, six top-10 finishes at the World Championship, two silver medals from the Pan American Game, and a total eight medals in the Commonwealth Games, Cynthia has surely made her father, and fellow Canadians proud. In her free time, Cynthia Volunteers at her children’s school, the Girl Scouts, and her church where she teaches Sunday school.
Susan Nattrass – The hall-of-famer
Susan Nattrass, the daughter of a world-class trapshooter, is arguably Canada’s most notable female shooter. Susan was the first female to compete in the Olympic trap shooting games, a legacy she has since repeated with 5 more olympic appearances. Aside from the Olympics, Susan has also gone on to win gold at the Pan American Games, the Women’s World Trapshooting Championship, and the World Cup. Recognized as a top shooter, Susan is a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.
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