September 23rd, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 37
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Shooting the breeze with one of Canada’s best pistol shooters
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald Contributor photo
Crowsnest resident Kai Eckardt is now one of the best pistol shooters in Canada.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Over a week of competition at the Canadian National Pistol Championships held in Camrose, Alta. in August, Crowsnest resident Kai Eckardt won six individual medals, a gold or silver in each course of fire he competed in, as well as four team medals.

His performance puts him within the top ten of the best overall pistol shooters in the country.

“This went really well,” said Eckardt. “I’m still a little bit flabbergasted.”

Eckardt competes in the “sharpshooter class” and in that won gold in the 10 metre air pistol, 25 metre center fire and 25 metre rapid fire. He also won silver in the 50 metre free pistol, 25 metre military rapid fire (as a civilian) and 25 metre standard pistol as well as two silver and two bronze medals each with Team Alberta.

“What I am most proud of my gold in the 10 metre air pistol competition as I shot a personal best each day with 540 the first day and then the next day 544 points out of a possible 600,” he said in a statement.

For comparison, the last of eight qualifiers for the men’s finals at the Pan Am Games this year in Toronto shot a 568 to qualify in that course of fire.

“It’s important for people in our town to know that we have a really great pistol club that’s got a great reputation province wide and good facilities and it’s members are always welcoming new people interested in getting into the sport,” said Eckardt. “It’s cheap and it’s a fun sport. Plus it is important for newer people intimidated but wanting to get into the sport to remember that you’re not shooting against the person next to you, you’re shooting against yourself, trying to improve you own score and your accuracy. It demands the utmost concentration and the camaraderie between shooters overall and specifically in our local club is next to none.”
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The Crowsnest Pass Pistol club, our indoor range, reopened this month and there is also the Crowsnest Mountain Gun Club, which is the outdoor range.

Eckardt got into competitive pistol shooting as a form of rehab after severe and debilitating Back Surgery some years ago.

“I needed a competitive sport to get back on my feet,” he said

Now his training will really begin, he said, because he has realistic hopes of making the Canadian National Team. Then, he said, he will have reached his set goal and would be able to compete in international competitions like the Pan Am Games, Commonwealth Games and World Cups.

He’s got his work cutout for him but he should have many years to perfect his skills.

The Motto of the Alberta Federation of Shooting Sports is that “shooting is a lifetime sport,” said Eckardt who noted the oldest competitor at his most recent tournament was 76-years old.
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September 23rd ~ Vol. 85 No. 37
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