An Olympic dream grows from a Georgia peanut field

An Olympic dream grows from a Georgia peanut field

Camilla, Ga – Georgia produces the most peanuts in the United States. In fact over half of the peanuts in the country come from the Peach state. And in a peanut field in Camilla, Georgia where one small town Georgia girl found her Olympic dream.

“When I was 13, I went to church one Sunday and I had a family friend who was a farmer and used to be a really big sporting clay shooter. Who got me into it. He invited me out to a little peanut field one day after church, and the first target came out and I was hooked. I was absolutely in love with it,” said Bethany High.

High wouldn’t put the rifle down after that. Her shooting career started to blossom quickly. During a state wide competition in Savannah, Georgia one coach told her she could be good enough to compete at the Olympic level for Team Trap Shooting. It was an event that was being introduced in the Tokyo Olympic Games. High would then start her training in Moultrie, Georgia which is just 15 minutes away from her home. Less than a year into her training she was in international competitions.

“About 6 months into me training I ended up going to Italy. I loved that because I met so many different people. Elite shooters, Olympians, World Champions. I was just like little old me, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just here having a good time,” said High.

Bethany then decided to dedicate more of her time to her sport and started to make some serious sacrifices. She chose to take her senior year of high school all online to create more practice time. That risk paid off because eventually Bethany signed an athletic scholarship to Emmanuel College, which is now Emmanuel University, and it was a major milestone for her and her community.

“From my graduating class I was the only one that got signed to a college for a sport and it was shooting. So I look back on that and the opportunities that I’ve had just from shooting are opportunities that people in my little town could hope for,” said High.

While she’s chasing down her Olympic goals, Bethany has a servant’s heart. As the daughter of a United States Marine, she wanted to help our nation’s veterans and wanted to also help those living with special needs. High says that’s why a career in Occupational Therapy was the perfect fit for her. Bethany currently attends graduate school at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences for occupational therapy, and she couldn’t be happier working on that career.

“It was never in me to want to go into the military but I always wanted to help the military. So those two things my love for special needs and my love for the military kind of mesh together. It made choosing occupational therapy something really easy,” said High.

High will continue to chase her Olympic aspirations for the 2028 games, and along the way she hopes to bring more women into her sport both as a coach and as an example.

“I want to bring in more girls into this sport. I’m hoping they’ll see this and oh a girl is shooting. She’s doing this and she’s going to all these places and she’s going to all these elite competitions. Like I’m from a small town and I can do it too,” said High.

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