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August 16, 2016

USA Archery Reflections on Stellar Rio 2016 Games Competition

The archery competition of Rio 2016 Olympic Games took place in the Sambadrome, a historic, vibrant and beautiful venue, known in Brazil as the birthplace of Samba and the home of the Carnival celebration.  Loud, sequin covered dancers and musicians lined the field each day, welcoming the crowds and archers into the colorful stadium. There was an incredible juxtaposition of this joyous, rich celebration and the deep silence, focus and determination of the archers competing that was stunning to watch.

Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski, Zach Garrett and Mackenzie Brown represented the U.S. as fierce competitors, strong teammates, and role models for the archery community. Ellison won the U.S. its first individual medal in 16 years with his individual bronze finish. Together with teammates Kaminski and Garrett, the trio had a stellar run, earning silver for the second consecutive Games.

In London, the team felt they had lost the gold, but this time was different, the unanimous feeling was that they had won the silver. They fought hard through matches for strong wins all the way through the gold final with Korea. Korea's scores were near perfect, with only 3 arrows out of the 10-ring. The U.S. trio bowed with respect as Korea clinched the win, still deservedly proud of their own world-class performance.

Constantly displaying great sportsmanship on the field, Ellison faced both Kaminski and Garrett in individual eliminations. The archers, teammates above competitors, decided not to have coaches join them on the field of play, but to watch from nearby. As athletes who grew up together, competing, living and learning together every day, it was about more than winning a match at the Olympics. When Ellison shot a perfect 30 in his match with Kaminski, Kaminski turned to congratulate him, and the two hugged at the end of the match in an emotional moment.

In her Olympic debut, Brown was the sole U.S. female competitor. She qualified 19th and had a strong opening match, winning 6-4 with only 3 arrows outside of the gold in a full 5 sets before falling 7-3 in the second round in a major upset by San Yu Htwe of Myanmar. 

USA Archery is incredibly proud of our four athletes and coaching staff in Rio who represented our team and our sport so well. We appreciate the support of our fans, families and supporters who watched from home and those who were in the Sambadrome stands with us.

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