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August 06, 2010

U.S. Olympian Brady Ellison's Shoot for the Cure Thrives

Brady Ellison has a fear of tall buildings and large cities but when it comes to archery, it seems nothing can frighten the 22 year-old Arizona native. 

"The thing I love about this sport, when you watch the guys that do it and are doing it well, it's beautiful," Ellison said. "It's so controlled, everything about the sport to me, it looks good. It's a martial art, the body control, the mental control it takes to shoot well, all of those aspects going in together is what I love."

Ellison picked up his first bow while hunting with his dad but it didn't take long to get the competitive itch and his archery career quickly took off. Initially a compound shooter, Ellison instantly became a national champion, winning a vast majority of tournaments.

At a U.S. Archery Team junior camp in 2005 resulted in a change of competition. His compound bow broke and he was forced to use a friend's recurve bow. After coaches saw him shoot, they advised him to make the change to recurve, which could send him to the Olympic Games.

Ellison's success has continued in the third stage of the world cup, hosted in Ogden, Utah, the first time it has been held on U.S. soil. He will be competing Saturday, August 7, in the men's recurve team division for the gold medal. He said he is not worried about the fourth stage of the world cup in Shanghai as an individual, as he became the first archer in 2010 to secure his spot in the World Cup Final in Edinburgh, Great Britain.

"I feel it's gone pretty well," he said. "I wanted to come in here and just shoot and not think about anything."

Ellison is shooting for more than just breaking world records; he has also spearheaded the Brady Ellison's Shoot for the Cure to X-Out Breast Cancer campaign in partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

"I had a coach, his name was Bob Towne that died of stomach cancer a few years ago," Ellison said. "Since then I've wanted to do something with cancer and I wasn't able to do anything the year he died. I chose Breast Cancer because I feel that it's tons of people are effected by. I didn't have any family members that had it. It's just my way of giving back to the community."

For every 10 he shoots in competition, Ellison donates $1 and a minimum of $100 for each time he reaches the podium stand. Ellison's foundation also takes donations online, along with selling wristbands and shirts.

"Archery has given me a lot and I've been able to go a lot of great places with it," he said. "Being able to give back a little bit has been important and I think this is a good cause to do that in. If we find a cure for breast cancer we might be able to find a cure for a lot of other things. Archery doesn't really have it like a lot of other sports do, so now we have at least a little bit of it."

Ellison will compete in the men's recurve team gold-medal match tomorrow at Lindquist Field, with competition starting at 4 p.m.


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