For 77-year-old Tonto Creek Shores resident Dorothy Dixon, competing against a field of 29 men in the Senior Olympic trap shooting was a bit unnerving.
"Being the only lady, I was very nervous," she admits.
As it turned it, there was no need for the senior sharpshooter to harbor any qualms about taking on the opposite sex. Firing with the accuracy and quickness of a modern-day Annie Oakley, Dixon shot her way to the gold medal. Now that she has returned home from her Olympic experience, that medal will be displayed along with the bronze she won last year, she said.
Dixon's interest in trap shooting was piqued about four years ago by a friend who introduced her to the Bird Busters of Payson shooting club.
The club meets at 10 a.m. each Wednesday and Saturday at a Rye Creek range where they practice their shooting skills.
Dixon immediately took a liking to the club and currently serves as an officer.
The Senior Olympic shooting competition was held last week at the Ben Avery range near Phoenix. Last year, she competed at the Mesa Red Mountain range.
Although Dixon says she's happy with her collection of Senior medals, she also admits she'd like to try to earn yet another at the 2003 Olympics.
"I'm pushing 78, but I'll do it again," she said. "It's a lot of fun."
Dixon has resided in Tonto Creek Shores for the past 30 years.