Three-time Olympian Archer and Son of Miami Supervisor Shoots for Gold in Tokyo
July 23, 2021 - Brady Ellison will shoot arrows from his new copper bow on his quest for a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo as fans and fledgling archers across the world root for the cowboy from Copper Country.
For father Alfred Ellison, Senior Supervisor-Hydromet SX in Miami, the pride he most takes in his son goes beyond his acumen for archery to the way he has inspired so many people.
“How much more proud can you be of your kid when he’s No. 1 in the world? He’s always had amazing natural talent, and he works extremely hard and always has,” Alfred Ellison said. “But what I’ve always been much more proud of is the person Brady is, how humble he has stayed, and how helpful he is to anybody and everybody after shoots and things, and not a lot of archers do that. I like to call him The Ambassador of Field Archery”
The Olympics Opening Ceremonies are today, and closing ceremonies are August 8. Friends, family and company employees – especially from Globe-Miami – will be watching the world’s No. 1 men’s recurve archer and his new bow in hopes he brings home the gold. Check local listings for times to watch the recurve archery competition where you live.
"One person wins a medal, but there are half a million people behind them, helping them out, and I appreciate every one of you guys," Brady Ellison said. "And everyone needs to look at my bow this year, because I'm shooting a copper bow because I'm from a copper town.”
A career of bull’s eyes
The top-ranked men’s recurve bow archer in the world, Brady Ellison has won six World Cup Finals, nine individual stage World Cups, has qualified for 11 consecutive World Cup Finals, owns the highest recurve score ever recorded and won Team Silvers at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio games and an Individual Bronze at Rio.
“There has been no archer in recurve or pretty much any discipline in archery that has won more competitions than him. He was even put in the 2013 Guinness Book of World Records for that,” Alfred Ellison said.
In a recent phone conversation just before heading with the U.S. team to Paris, Brady Ellison said he’s hopeful and primed for a summer of competition.
“I’ve actually shot a tournament every single weekend since the first week of April, and we’ll have these two events here in Paris back to back, but I’ll get a couple weeks off before Tokyo in July,” Ellison said. “I feel like I’m doing better and better this year. I set a world record, and I shot well in the (Olympic) trials, so I think I’ve set myself up well for the summer.”
An archery prodigy with talent, drive and charisma– seemingly since birth – the 32-year-old Brady Ellison was attracting fans and followers as the friendly, sharpshooting cowboy kid from that little Arizona copper town in regional and national competitions while still in his early teens. By 18, he’d been tapped to become a Resident Athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
“I started Brady with a little plastic bow and suction-cup arrows when he was itty bitty, in diapers still,” Alfred Ellison said. “He went around shooting grasshoppers and lizards, and he’s just excelled at it his whole life. It’s his passion, and it’s just what he does.”
Modern world-class archery is a profession with no off-time, what with an outdoor season, an indoor season and training, so it’s no surprise that Brady Ellison met his wife Toja Černe somewhere near a set of concentric blue, red and yellow circles with arrows stuck in them.
“My wife is also a professional archer from Slovenia, a little bitty country in Europe right next to Italy, and we met in 2014 at a tournament in Colombia,” Brady Ellison said. “It worked out well, because she shoots the World Cups too, so it hasn't been like we’re ever really apart, because we shoot 90 percent of the same tournaments together.”
She has since cut down her tournaments with the arrival of their son Ty, now 7 months old.
“We told our sponsors we didn't know how much Toja was going to be able to travel and compete with Ty so young, and they all understood. They just gave her the tournaments that they really wanted her to compete in, but we’ve also taken him to tournaments with us that we can drive to,” Brady Ellison said.
The celebrity Copper Kid
Brady Ellison’s celebrity status has risen due to the popularity of numerous videos and appearances that promote archery and provide guidance and support for archers of all ages and levels. He also did a stint serving as a technical consultant for a television series and starred in an episode of “Mythbusters” that favorably tested the plausibility of a fully automatic, arrow-shooting contraption invented by the ancient Greeks. The show pitted him against the contraption.
“That show was a lot of fun to do, because the hosts were just as funny and nice in real life as they are on the show, and they proved the thing could work,” he said. “It kicked my butt, actually.”
When not shooting arrows, giving tips, answering questions, or signing caps and jerseys somewhere around the world, he and his family still reside in Globe among a community of relatives and longtime friends, more than a few of whom have worked for Freeport and have followed his career for almost two decades.
Connect with Brady Ellison and learn more about his career at bradyellison.com.