Li Du; Photo: Peter Kneffel/European Pressphoto Agency

While Michael Phelps won the first gold medal for the United States, Li Du of China won the first gold of the 2004 Olympics. Her victory came in the 10 meter air rifle competition.

According to the Olympics site, shooting is very popular, "Shooting is considered one of the most popular sports internationally. It requires good physical and psychological condition, as well as technical perfection. It is open to men, women and children of all ages for recreation."

China is the host of the 2008 Beijing Games, so China is ramping up their production training of Olympic caliber athletes. In the 2000 games, China was third in the metal tally, trailing Russia and the United States.