The 2008 Olympic games are officially underway in Beijing, and one of the U.S. athletes who will be going for the gold is from right here in Grand Junction.
32-year-old Rebecca Snyder is a graduate of Fruita Monument High School and a member of the 2008 U.S. shooting team. Rebecca, or Beki as friends and family call her, is one of the top pistol shooters in the country and the world. Her father, who will be watching her Olympic journey from Grand Junction says he couldn't be more proud of his daughter.
Grand Junction resident Raleigh Snyder says as he watched the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics, his thoughts turned to his daughter Beki who was right there as it all unfolded.
"She has competed her way into the highest level of competition in the world," said Snyder. "How could you not be proud of that?"
But Friday night wasn't the first time he's seen her march into an Olympic stadium with the U.S. team. Beki also competed in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 games. So when he got the call a few months ago that she would be making a fourth trip to the Olympics, Raleigh says he just shook his head.
"Fourth time's a charm," said Snyder.
And he hopes it will be. Although she easily took first in the U.S. trials and has taken home the gold medal in multiple World Cup shooting events, the best finish she's ever had at the Olympics is ninth. While Raleigh says sitting there watching his daughter can be nerve wracking --
"It's stressful," said Snyder. "You know, you always hope for the best."
He's confident that she can succeed.
"She has a very strong, competitive nature," said Snyder.
A competitive nature that he says has been with her since she was young. Raleigh says Beki enjoyed playing many sports, but after learning how to shoot and even training at the Olympic Center in Colorado Springs, she knew what sport was for her.
"A person has to set their own goals," said Snyder. "And those are the goals that she chose."
While Raleigh says he's 110 percent behind Beki as she goes for Olympic gold in air pistol and 25 meter sport pistol, just the excitement of knowing she gets to compete on the world's largest stage is good enough for him.
"As a father, win, lose, or draw, I'm proud," said Snyder.
Qualification rounds and the final for Beki's first event, air pistol, are set to take place Sunday morning. She will then compete in sport pistol event on Wednesday. 11 News wants to wish Beki the best of luck!