Legendary Kuwaiti shooter Fehaid Aldeehani is no longer a normal shooter, but he has become the first person to win an Olympic gold medal as an independent athlete in Rio Olympics 2016. After his return from Rio, we met him to highlight his long history in shooting sport.
Tell us about your beginnings?
I tried shooting for the first time at the age of 16 and from the first moment I adored the game. It became all what I think about during my years of training at the Military College and I spent all my time training in the Hunting and Equestrian Club, until the professional shooter Nizar Naqash saw me and told my older brother that if he refines my talent I will reach to the World Championships; his words increased my insistence on continuing training.
Did you encounter difficulties and obstacles in that early stage?
Of course, obligation itself and spending most of my time in the shooting range was one of the biggest obstacles that I faced, because I was a committed soldier. I’ve entered all the courses that most of the soldiers escape from like commandos, human frogs, green hat and others. And at the same time shooting was one of my priorities and I had to balance between it and my job.
Does the rifle the shooter uses play a role in his successes?
Certainly, it is the tool and without training and learning how to use it, the shooter will not succeed in his tournaments. Personally I did not have a rifle in my first training years; however I used to borrow rifles from my friends until I joined the national team who competed in the World Championships in Germany in 1989 they bought me my own rifle.
What are the stages you passed through to reach this amazing tournament?
A long history of fatigue, hard work, triumph, friendship and hostility! My path was not easy at all; I fought several wars physically and psychologically! Mental and psychological wars that I’ve been through with clubs management, competitors and even friends! All that created inside me a permanent quest for excellence.
Did the previous games taught you valuable lessons made you the world champion today?
Of course, psychological stress, enthusiasm, adrenaline, fear of failure and imagining winning and success; I review all my steps and my movements after every game and I analyze and discuss them with myself and my friends.
What does qualify an athlete for such games?
In fact, shooting needs fitness; I train eight hours a day divided into 5 hours in the shooting range and 3 hours in the club for cardio exercises and fitness. Shooting is a game of mind & body. You need to understand your body and give it all the tools to calm down so your mind can focus on tiny flying discs.
Can you describe for us a moment of victory?
That winning moment was bitter sweet. No, it was a deep breath & an utter suffocation in the same exact time.
Did you really felt sad when they did not raise Kuwait’s flag and did not play the national anthem?
Of course, I could not breathe for a moment I felt suffocating, but the idea of accomplishing my goal saved me. My name entered history as a Legendary Kuwaiti shooter and this enough for me.
What is the most beautiful congratulation you got it after winning?
A congratulatory telegram from his Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Tell us about the reaction of your children?
Indescribable joy and pride; it is any man’s greatest wish to see happiness in the eyes of his children.
Did you like fame?
No, at all! I’m very private person; I cannot now visit malls with my children, but despite all this I appreciate people’s love.
Are gold medals made of pure gold?
(He laughs) no, its 490 grams silver and 11 grams of gold.
What are your plans for the future?
Establishing modern and advanced shooting academy.