Brady Ellison is pretty darn good with a bow and arrow.
No denying that at all. Ellison is an Olympic medalist, has won the Pan American Championship and other events multiple times, and just won his third straight World Cup Final title. In 2011 he won 35 of the 37 world ranking events he entered.
Ellison loves hunting, too, as he discussed in this interview from a couple of years ago before the London Olympic Games. He told ESPN that in hunting, “you’ve got to be smarter than the animals, which sounds a lot easier than it is, because they smell and hear better than we do. You’re trying to outsmart them and getting close is just fun. The adrenaline rush I get is better than shooting in tournaments.”
According to this ESPN story, his family has been in Arizona since the late 1800s and his grandfather ran a cattle farm. Ellison grew up “just a country boy,” which he maintains that he still is even while traveling around the world picking up medals here and there. The ESPN feature is pretty good and worth a read.
Ellison’s most recent trip took him to Lausane, Switzerland, where he won his third World Cup Final title. He became the first archer to do that with a recurve bow.
“It was a good win,” Ellison said in a post-event interview. “I shot good finally, and I hope this reminds everyone that I am still here and have not gone away.”
To get to the podium, he had to win three matches and compete with the kind of confidence that helped him win the World Cup Final twice before. His first opponent: Olympic champion Oh Jin Hyek of Korea, ranked second in the world and a fierce competitor.
Ellison took Oh to five sets in the quarterfinals and a 5-5 tie. In the one arrow shoot-off, both archers hit perfect 10s – but Ellison’s was closer to center, giving him the win.
In the semifinals, Ellison had yet another tough matchup, with World No. 3 Rick van der Ven of the Netherlands. With a score of 6-4, Ellison punched his ticket to the gold medal final; van der Ven went on to win bronze.
In the last match of the day, Ellison found a worthy opponent in 16-year-old Marcus D’Almeida of Brazil, who had defeated American Jake Kaminski of Gainesville, Fla., in the quarterfinals. Keeping fans on edge, Ellison and D’Almeida brought the gold medal showdown to a 5-all tie, which Ellison won with a closer 9 in the shoot-off.
Ellison told World Archery that he’s looking toward the future: “Hopefully I will continue this. At the end of the year, I’m looking forward to Indoor season. I’ll get ready for next year’s World Championships and start my big push for the 2016 Olympics.”
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