Deserie Wakefield-Baynes began her shooting career as a local, club champion in Mildura, before going on to win a bronze medal in the Olympic Games.
She has competed in a variety of international competitions, before concluding her career at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006.
-Ah. [TWO GUNSHOTS]
I started shooting back in 1970. My father introduced me to shooting, and gave me my grounding and basically most of my coaching. We were very involved with the Mildura Gun Club at that time, and both Dad and I won our National Championship in the same year-- 1974. His trophy was a gun, and we had that fitted out for me. And that's where I really started to come into my own, I suppose. And I stayed with it and just never looked back.
It wasn't until Australia got involved with the international shooting on a female level in '91 that I started the international shooting. And then in '91, I made the first team for the World Championships in Perth, and I made the men's team in '92/'93 for the World titles. And since then, it's just snowballed.
To qualify for an Olympic team, that's the pinnacle of all achievements-- whatever sport you're involved in-- and then I was very fortunate. I capped it off with a bronze medal, which I came in as a dark horse. I had never won an international medal prior to that. Just to make the final for the Olympics, it was a marathon in itself-- and then to actually come through and win a bronze medal.
And the approach that I took was that I had absolutely nothing to lose. I had everything to gain, and I really did. It was that 4 or 5 inches between the ears that got me there. [CHUCKLES]
Yeah, I get goosebumps thinking about it. Yeah, the sensation, the crowd, everything-- it's very, very vivid.
The thing with shooting is that every day is such a different day, and you can't stay at the top all the time. So each day you go out there and you compete, and there's still a challenge. There's still the need to succeed-- the drive to succeed. I still enjoy it. I still enjoy going out there and competing. The adrenalin, the excitement, the possibility of winning, the fear of failure-- I mean, it's all part of it, and it's all there.
Coming up to the Commonwealth Games, I would really like to be there. I'd like to have another go on home soil and make good. It'd cap off a pretty good career. [CHUCKLES]