In total, Rajmond Debevec has won 139 medals at big championships and shot 16 world records. Averaging out that Debevec has won a professional championship medal or broken a world record every 99 days over the last 42 years!
Ahead of the next ISSF World Cup in Munich this month, we caught up with Slovenian shooting legend in his pursuit of a place at his ninth Olympic Games. We found out what motivates Rajmond and how he stays driven despite competing for over 40 years.
“People ask me why I keep shooting competitively, even after all these years. The answer is simple. Sport shooting is my passion.
When I was eight years old, my uncle bought me a small air rifle as a birthday present. Since then, I have been in love with shooting sport. I am 56 now!
To hit in the middle of target is unbelievably tempting and challenging for me, so I’ve been repeating this ‘simple operation’ for 48 years.
And the challenge is forever changing. A shooter can set up themselves up for a different or more difficult test each time. Hit a ten ring! Try and hit a ten ring five times! Hit all shots in the ten ring! Try to shoot as many as possible ten rings in the wind! Try to shoot five perfect 10.9 shots etc., etc… I always set myself up with a high, but realistic goal and persevere until I achieve it.
Of course this isn’t a simple operation as I wrote above. To become a top international shooter I made shooting sport the main priority in my life.
Training came first, then all other things in my life second. Completing homework for school? Yes, but after training. Going out and having fun with friends? Yes, but again after training. When I got married and had children, time management became much harder, but I was lucky and had family support which made it possible.
Following my growing success, I become a member of the Military Sport Squad. This was perfect! Even at work, sport shooting became a part of my daily routine. With this success came sponsors. What a beautiful obligation, being able to promote my favourite brands while sport shooting!At competitions I met new friends. This was great and we’d meet up again and catch up at the next match.
So through all these years shooting sport completely created my way of life. I have participated in eight Olympic Games, won gold (Sydney, 2000) and two bronze Olympic medals (Beijing 2008; London 2012). In total, I’ve won 139 medals at big championships and shot 16 world records with rifles from all distances.
So why do I keep on shooting if I have won all possible medals and shot all possible records? I gave you the answer in the beginning, I simply love it.
I never say to myself I must go and practice, I just love to shoot every possible moment I can. As with anything, there has been ups and downs throughout my career, but I love shooting whether it be training or competing. I like sport shooting whenever and wherever, even I must travel thousands of miles to a competition.
As it is with any kind of love, I hope it will last forever!”