Corey Cogdell-Unrein, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in trap shooting, is heading to her third games in Brazil next month.

Corey Cogdell-Unrein, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in trap shooting, is heading to her third games in Brazil next month.

Eagle River trap shooter ready for Rio

In less than a month, the U.S. Olympic Team will head to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of those competing will be Corey Cogdell-Unrein, one of the best trap shooters in the world.

Cogdell-Unrein has been rigorously training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, all year and is very much looking forward to her third Olympics and a chance at a second medal. In 2008, she claimed the bronze medal and finished 11th in 2012.

“When I started this journey, if someone would have said I would be getting ready for my third Olympics, I wouldn’t have believed them,” the 29-year-old said. “I’m definitely thrilled … it’s very exciting,” she said.

Growing up in Eagle River hunting and fishing with her father first sparked Cogdell-Unrein’s interest in competitive shooting, she said in a phone interview with The Star. She also talked about how she stays sharp and focused.

Her training regimen includes a lot more than just shooting clay targets, she explained.

“My training at the range doesn’t provide a lot of exercise,” she said.

So, to maintain the upper body strength she needs to lift and aim the shotgun, she employs different interval training routines.

Cardio exercises also help with maintaining a lower resting heart rate, she said. All of these are key elements for concentration.

Part of her training exercises are visual, she added.

“Especially at the beginning of the year, when you are just starting to train, your eye muscles are just like any other muscle — you have to warm them back up again,” she said.

Cogdell-Unrein is married to Chicago Bear Mitch Unrein and says there’s a lot of competition in their family.

“If you put a board game in front of us, there is definitely going to be some arguments,” she said, laughing.

They also enjoy non-competitive activities like taking their French bulldog Magnus on walks.

Unfortunately, the NFL defensive lineman will be at training camp and won’t be able to cheer his wife on at the Olympic Games. But she did talk about how this trip has some concerns for her, and she will be taking precautions against mosquito bites and the Zika virus.

The Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, according to the Center for Disease Control. A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. Zika is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.

“Obviously, I’m at the age where my husband and I are thinking about starting a family,” Cogdell-Unrein said. “But there are precautions we can take, like wearing long sleeves or not staying out late. And we are there for such a short amount of time — just a couple of weeks — that lowers your chance of contracting the disease,” she said, adding that when she was in Rio for the trials, she didn’t see any mosquitos at all.

Cogdell-Unrein is scheduled to compete on the third day of the games. She said that will give her plenty of time to see several of the events.

“Like every other American, I want to see gymnastics and swimming. I like watching some of the more obscure sports, too, like fencing,” she said.

• Suzanne Ashe is the editor of the Alaska Star, where this article first appeared. She can be reached at suzanne.ashe@alaskastar.com.

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Corey Cogdell-Unrein, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in trap shooting, is heading to her third games in Brazil next month.

Corey Cogdell-Unrein, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in trap shooting, is heading to her third games in Brazil next month.

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