When most people aim a gun, they use the eye that lines up with the hand doing the shooting. For example, if you’re right-handed, you’d likely use your right eye to zero in on your target. But that’s not the case for American Jay Shi, who’s currently competing in the 50-meter pistol qualification event in Rio de Janeiro. He shoots right-handed, but uses his left eye to aim.
Being “cross-dominant,” as it’s called in the shooting world, wasn’t Shi’s choice, though. Shi injured his right eye at the age of 9, when a pair of scissors he was using to cut a string slipped and poked his eye, AZ Central reported in 2008. After a botched procedure to fix his sight in Beijing almost left him blind in his right eye, his parents moved to New York, where he got better medical care. His sight in his right eye would never be perfect, however, which is what led him to start using his left for aim.
“It was kind of like Edison trying to find a lightbulb,” Shi, now 37 and in his first Olympics, told USA Today about the trials and errors he went through to perfect his unconventional form. “Then one day it just kind of fell into place; ‘This feels good.’ Then I adopted other ways into what I had just discovered. I was like, wow, this really feels natural.”