Brady Ellison started competing in the Junior Olympic Archery Development Program while growing up in Payson, Ariz. and now this young archer is aiming for Olympic gold in London this summer. Archery competition begins on July 27.
Currently, Brady is ranked number one in the world and is the odds-on favorite to win Olympic gold. Last year, Brady won gold at three World Cup events as well as the World Cup Final and the Olympic test event. In fact, in 2011, Brady won 35 of the 37 world ranking events he entered. While these competitions have honed his skills, they haven’t changed his basic down-to-earth character. He is at heart a well-rounded country boy with a love of wild country.
During an interview, Brady 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.”
While Brady exudes confidence and strives to be the best archer since the fabled Robin Hood, those who know him routinely say he is “down to earth” and a well-rounded individual who gives back to the community – in more ways than one.
Brady has worked with the Wounded Warrior Project and has donated money from appearances to that worthy effort. But that isn’t all. He routinely donates to the Susan G. Komen Shoot for the Cure cancer foundation as well.
Brady committed to donating a minimum of $100 for every podium finish this past year, beginning with the Arizona Cup.
“I will also pledge $1 dollar for every X and 10 that I score during the qualification rounds of these tournaments. Some of my sponsors have agreed to match my podium finish donations. I feel that it is important to step out of your comfort zone and step up for others. I hope that people will join with me and pledge their support as I Shoot for The Cure,” Brady said.
Brady has come through on that promise, raising approximately $8,000 so far.
When Brady is in Arizona, he often gives the National Archery in the Schools Program a boost by visiting schools to talk about his experiences and inspires young archers to do their best.
“Brady Ellison is a terrific role model, not just for young archers, but for young people everywhere,” said Arizona Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles. “His talent, work ethic, commitment to excellence, and desire to make a difference by helping others, truly makes him special.”
Brady placed 27th in the 2008 Olympic individual competition and 10th in the team event. But he came away from his first Olympics with a more permanent reminder – a tattoo on his right forearm of the Olympic rings that is plain for everyone to see each time he lets an arrow fly.
Brady told NBC Sports that in 2008, he used to worry about how everyone else was shooting and now he is focused on becoming the very best he can be.
Team USA Archers includes Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski, Jacob Wukie, Miranda Leek, Khatuna Lorig, Jennifer Nichols.
Olympic Archery Facts and Links
+ Games of the XXX Olympiad: July 27 through August 12, 2012
+ usarchery.org: Click “follow the team” and get detailed information on schedules, live updates, results and more.
+ Follow @usaarchery on Twitter for live coverage from London:
+ Archery Event Schedule and Previews via NBC.
+ NBC’s complete online coverage of USA Archery.
About the ATA
Since 1953 ATA has been the trade association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, sales representatives and others working in the archery and bowhunting industry. ATA is dedicated to making the industry profitable by decreasing business overhead, and reducing taxes and government regulation while increasing participation in archery and bowhunting. ATA owns and manages the ATA Trade Show, the archery and bowhunting industry’s largest and longest running trade show worldwide. More information can be found at www.archerytrade.org.