Women of a Different Caliber
By Ruby Fox
Let me start off
with a old saying, I don’t know who wrote or said it however it sums up my
view of “women of a different caliber”
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat!”
Ask yourself. In which category do I belong? I would hope that you have both won and lost, and only lost when you gave 100%. Sometime the winner is not always the one who come in first but the one who over comes personal doubts, fears, and obstacles to achieved personal goals.
The are a few women I know who are “Women of a different Caliber!
Margaret Mudock, silver medallist, three position small-bore rifle Montreal Olympics, 1976. Margaret was the first U S woman to make an Olympic team in an “open” event. She was also the only woman to win a medal in an open Olympic event. Margaret finished with the same score as the winner. However due to the tie breaking rules at the time she was awarded the silver. She is not only a shooting foremother, she’s A Woman of a different Caliber!
Luann Ryan won the gold medal in archery at the Montreal Games in 1976. The Olympic were the first big international archery event Luann had attended. Not a problem, she beat them all and went on to win Pan American and World Championship Gold also. Luann had never “shot an arrow” until she graduated high school. Had a dream, set her goals and follow them through! Also, A Woman of a different Caliber!
Launi Meili: gold medallist, Ladies 3-p, 92 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain. Shortly before going to the line to fire for record her shit ass husband informed her that he wanted a divorce! What a rock to be thrown in your bucket before the most important event of your life! Again, keep your goals in view; don’t let anything outside of the “now” interfere with the task at hand. She didn’t and won the gold .. A Woman of a different Caliber!
Lt. Col. Sallie Carroll, US Army retired. In 1970 Sallie won the gold medal in Ladies Air Pistol at the World Shooting Championships in Phoenix. Then she was off for a tour in Vietnam where she was injured diving into a bunker during a fire fight and spent the next couple of years recovering. In 1979 Sallie joined me on the medal stand at the World Air Championships in Seoul, Korea to receive a gold medal in the team event. She has been a friend and mentor to me since I started me shooting career. She is a Woman of a different Caliber!
On a personal note, the morning of the final tryouts for the 1987 Pan American Games I received a call informing me that my mother had just passed away. I told my friend and roommate, Kim Dyer, my sad news. We sat on the bed, cried tears and prayed together, and talked about what a strong person Mrs. Finley was. I told Kim, “I need to win this for her!” and I did. One month later I won the Pan Am Gold in Ladies Air Pistol. Adversary is a strength builder if you don’t let it control your life. My mother was woman of a different caliber.
Had anyone told me 37 years ago “I see you’re future as, having a devoted husband, 3 bright children, 4 outstanding grandchildren, many wonderful friends an wonderful home, travel around the world with 10 men, shoot guns at targets, win medals, shake hands with Presidents of the United States, have good health and happiness.” I would have said RIGHT!!!!! Having good health and happiness are great. OK, husband, children, grandchildren, family, friends, Lets talk about the 10 men and other stuff. Well the 10 men came in the form of the elite USAR Pistol Team. What a woman on the team??? Can she shoot??? Well the “high man on the team today was a woman”, Col Jack Vincent smiled. Well “not bad for a girl”, remarked Steve Reiter, 5 time US Outdoor pistol Champion and Olympian. That started a 29 year and 10 month career. These men were always there for positive reinforcement and only wanted me to improve. Yes, they too are of a different caliber.
I have received many honors and award during my shooting career. However these would not have been possible without the support and encouragement given me by my husband, Art, our children and family. My sister said the day I won the Silver Medal was the most exciting day of her life. They have been behind me, win or lose all this time. Art, also my coach, has always been there to offer support and encouragement. With out him none of this would have happened and I would not be here today. He is truly of a different caliber.
I can walk on to a pistol range in the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Thailand or Korea and there will be someone who knows who I am and of my shooting accomplishments. To be recognized as someone of note is self-satisfying. Being here with you today to share some of my memories my thoughts and some knowledge is indeed an honor and a privilege because of you I can consider myself a Woman of a different Caliber.
Remember shooting is a lifetime sport, and no matter what you want to do you can!!! Have a dream, set your goals, be your own best friend, believe in your self and you to can become a women of a different caliber. That is the secret!!!!!!! Thank you, God Bless, and be Safe