What drew you to Archery?
I was drawn to archery when I was about 12 years old and I was looking for a hobby after I stopped playing baseball and basketball. My dad randomly took me to a local shop to try shooting and I ended up really liking it. I think what originally got me interested that was that it was challenging and fun to do. When I first stared out I wasn’t that good, but I always enjoyed practicing in my backyard and going to local tournaments with family.
How long have you been participating/competing in your event?
I have been participating in archery for around 14 years, and I have been competing in my division for 13 of those years. I started off competing in local 3D tournaments - a type of archery where we shoot at foam three dimensional animals - and got interested in target archery - Olympic style archery - soon after that. I was introduced to target archery though my local shop’s Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) club. After shooting a few local tournaments, I competed in my first JOAD nationals, and after that I was hooked on target archery.
Describe the moment you knew you could be an Olympic athlete?
I have dreamed of competing in the Olympics since I was a kid and first started shooting. I remember telling my dad after practicing one day that I wanted to make an Olympic team one day. It wasn’t until competing in college and applying to become a Resident Athlete at the Olympic Training Center that I realized that it could possibly come true.
What are some of the sacrifices you’ve made in order to compete?
The largest sacrifice that I have made is that I hardly see my family, they all still live in the New England area and I only make it home for a few days in the summer and a week around the holidays. That’s definitely the hardest part. It’s also hard to work and make money while training, but I have been fortunate to have some opportunities to work part time for great organizations and companies so I have managed to get by alright.
“Regular” people typically exercise to relieve stress. But your job is to exercise. What causes you stress and how do you relieve it?
Training can definitely cause stress, and sometimes it can get really bad, but at the end of the day I get to do what I love so it’s worth it. I would say the largest thing that causes stress is when money gets tight. The OTC covers our meals and training costs which is great, but there are still a lot of bills to pay. To relieve stress I like to go to the beach and spend time with friends, basically just getting away for a few hours helps a lot!
When you’re training what music is running through your head?
I actually listen to a lot of music while training, anything from classic rock to electronic. Ill just put my iPod on shuffle and listen to whatever comes up.
Given that you’re an elite athlete, you probably have a higher metabolism than most people. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I have to wonder what you’re going to pile on your plate. And how many times are you going back for seconds?
I’ll definitely be eating a lot on Thanksgiving, its probably my favorite holiday! I’ll hopefully be eating the standard Thanksgiving meal and going back for as many seconds as I can handle.
Whose cooking do you miss most? Why?
I miss both my parents’ cooking. They are both really good cooks and whenever I go home I get to eat some really good meals. I try to learn from them whenever I go back, but I have a long way to go!
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing what would you like to be doing?
I got my degree in Sports Management and if I wasn’t competing I would enjoy working in the sports industry. I would really like to work for USA Archery and to help them continue promoting and developing our sport. I have been fortunate to work a little bit with the management and leadership of USA Archery already and I really like the direction they are taking our sport in America.
When they make a movie about your life, who should be cast to play you? And what’s the final scene look like?
Ha, that’s a hard question! Honestly I have no idea who should be cast to play me, a bunch of people have said I look like Bradley Cooper so I guess that would be cool. As for the last scene, hopefully it would be going on from winning a medal at the Games to living a successful life.
What drew you to Archery?