Book Assessment of Vera Koo’s ‘The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir’


I met Vera Koo many years ago at a Bianchi Cup match in Columbia, Missouri. I’m considering it may well have been about 15 years ago, when she was at the height of her shooting profession. Certainly, Vera is the only lady to capture the prestigious Bianchi Cup championship in the women’s division eight instances. She sat down by me on a wooden bench, and even even though she wasn’t completed competing for the day, she talked to me. Later, I would learn, that this is rather uncommon for her to do. I recall feeling right away drawn to her Zen-like aura and frankly, to her professionalism. 

Speedy forward to many years later, we are mates and function collectively routinely on her excellent series of columns right here at The WON

Just before I delve into her initial book and what it brought to me, I’d like to expound far more about that day when I met her. Vera is a very disciplined athlete. That implies that she has a routine, a regimen that most people today in the shooting planet know about and respect though she’s at a match. She wears blinders on her shooting glasses to block out interferences and interruptions with her functionality. She goes more than once more and once more in her head how she will shoot and what that will appear like she at times executes a methodical period of stretching and it appears as even though she may well even do a small meditation just before she shoots a stage … but on that day, she sat down to speak to me due to the fact an individual introduced us and she felt she had anything to say.

The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir

To this day, she tells me that it was the day an individual initial asked her if she would create about her life. That an individual? It was I. And I am so glad I planted that small seed. I think she would have written this book, regardless of what I stated or asked, but it is nevertheless good to believe that perhaps, just perhaps, I played a smaller aspect in receiving her to this point.

And this point is that her book is so considerably far more than the shooting sports and what it brought to her life. It is about Vera and how by way of the shooting sports, she brings salient, relevant and inspirational life stories for us to contemplate and apply to our personal lives.

I study the initial copy that she signed and sent to me. Then, I sent that specific book to 1 of my favored females, Il Ling New, who occurs to be a Gunsite Academy variety master (instructor). Il Ling also reviewed the book later, and then, she met Vera and Carlos Koo though at an NRA meeting in Indianapolis this previous spring. Il Ling told me that she and Vera have Yuan Fen.

Il Ling New and Vera Koo
Il Ling New and Vera Koo

I knew they would have a connection beyond their popular heritage. Vera when wrote, “In the Chinese culture, we belive in a idea called Yuanfen, which is when fate brings two people today collectively. If you have Yuanfen with a further individual, you will really feel comfy with that individual. You can speak with each and every other like you have recognized each and every other forever, even if you have recognized each and every other only for a quick time. 

All through the years, Vera has written a lot of pieces of excellent tips that I have taken to heart. When I study her book, I ran across far more, and decided to pair them with pictures that we have in our gallery. I hope you will get pleasure from the gallery and quotations and, invest in Vera’s book.

Excerpts from Vera Koo’s The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir

Vera Koo World Champion
(Kathryn McMillin photo)

“I didn’t touch a gun till my 40s and didn’t commence sport shooting seriously till my life was shaken to its extremely core. I’ve in all probability been the most unlikely pistol champion in America.”

The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir
(Chris Tropea photo)

“With absolutely nothing to distract me, I can attain that uncommon type of ideal concentration, the sort that all competitors know nicely. My solitude is my strength.”

outdoor photo of Vera Koo

“My mother was extremely sincere … she repeatedly told me, ‘Vera, you are far more plain-hunting, so you have to create your inner beauty.’”

solitude vera koo
(Shun Chu photo)

“My mother by no means did. She by no means complained … While she frequently claimed that life was 1 hardship than happiness, you wouldn’t have recognized it from her attitude. She taught me that you see the doughnut, not the hole.” 

The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir
Girl energy! Vera’s family members on a fishing trip in Canada. (Vera Koo photo)

“I discovered a lot from my mother, but above all I believe I discovered that your initial duty was to your family members. No matter how tired you may well be, you nevertheless had to do suitable by them.”

Vera Koo and dad
Vera Koo and her parents

“Kai Fang, the man who raised me, should have recognized I wasn’t his biological daughter. But he loved me in the similar way he loved his biological youngsters. He spoiled me, taking me to beaches and on hikes. He showed me that family members is not just about blood it is about like.”

The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir
(Shane Koo photo)

“This nation could take you in, and you could turn absolutely nothing into anything just by way of really hard function. I’ve often believed – and often told my youngsters – that if you function really hard in America, something is attainable. My life is proof of that.”

Vera-Koo-Sitting-Bianchi-Shun Chu
(Shun Chu photo)

“When you are struggling to take your subsequent breath, anything as very simple as a good smile from a stranger can assist you survive.”

(Chris Tropea photo)

“Amid all my sorry and evaluation, I started to fully grasp particular items, as well. The initial was that only I could be accountable for myself – for my nicely-getting, but also for my discomfort. I couldn’t let any individual else be accountable for me.”

Bianchi Cup
(Shun Chu photo)

 “My complete life has been: How do I survive this? How do I hold myself nicely? How do I move forward and meet my objectives?”

Vera Koo Gabby Franco
Vera Koo and Gabby Franco with a group of young shooters

“To me, shooting has by no means been about wins or losses. It is been about the way the sport shapes you as a individual – the way you have to be stronger, far more disciplined, and far more focused to shoot your ideal. It not about the people today you are shooting against. It is about you – the items you are bringing to the variety, the disappointments and hopes, and your capability to set these aside.”

Vera and Carlos Koo
Vera and Carlos Koo

“There is a Chinese word that sounds like ‘shing ping.’ It is a idea that implies possessing harmony in your heart. It implies you have produced peace with anything, and you are not holding onto any old wounds or grudges. It is about discovering balance.”

SHOT Show Koo Baird
Vera and me, with our daughters at SHOT Show 2018

We are proud to function Vera Koo each month at The WON. At the moment, she is advertising her book, which has been published in Chinese. 

Go to Vera Koo on the net.

Acquire The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir.

  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outside markets. She is a contributing editor at “SHOT Enterprise,” and her bylines are identified at many top rated hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can adhere to her at
    View all posts by Barbara Baird



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