The new year has barely begun, and yet our TV screens have already been saturated with major awards ceremonies and competitions for 2015: the People’s Choice Awards, the Golden Globes, the GRAMMY Awards, NFL playoffs, college football playoffs and the Miss Universe pageant, to name a few. But most important for archery fans: World Archery’s Athlete of the Year Awards.
And the winners are …
Stats: Ellison is most famous for his 2012 Summer Olympics silver-medal win alongside Team USA teammates Jake Kaminski and Jake Wukie. He also holds the record for the longest continuous period as World Archery’s No. 1-ranked men’s recurve archer. Most recently, Ellison placed first at the Archery World Cup finals in Switzerland, his fifth podium finish in the past five years.
He currently ranks sixth among male recurve archers in the World Archery world rankings. Is Ellison an Olympic hopeful for #Rio2016? This year’s Pan American Games and World Championships determine the qualifiers.
Why He’s Awesome: Ellison is a strong supporter of breast-cancer research and shoots a pink recurve bow. He describes himself on twitter as “just a country boy who loves to shoot his bow.” He shot his first bow at seven years old and killed his first bear while bow hunting at age eleven. “Real men wear pink” and shoot archery, of course.
Stats: Aida Roman began shooting archery in 1999. She participated in the 2008 Olympic Games, and took silver in London’s 2012 Olympics. Her silver was Mexico’s first Olympic archery medal. She won gold at the 2014 Archery World Cup finals in the individual and mixed-team categories.
Most recently, she placed 5th in the Female Recurve Championship of the National Field Archery Association’s Vegas Shoot.
Why She’s Awesome: Aida Roman is tenacious. She made history for Mexico at the London Olympic Games and received the National Sports Award from Mexico’s president. She continued pushing herself and won gold at the 2014 Archery World Cup.
Pierre Julien Deloche
Stats: Pierre Julien Deloche is currently ranked No. 1 among Compound Men in the World Archery world rankings. He won gold in Stage 4 of the 2014 Archery World Cup and silver in the finals. He reached the podium 20 times since his first World Archery tournament in 2007. What makes this award special for PJ Deloche? The day of the awards ceremony was also his birthday. Happy belated birthday, PJ!
Why He’s Awesome: Although Deloche is on the French team, he is inspired by U.S. archers Jesse Broadwater, Reo Wilde and Braden Gellenthien, as well as teammates Dominique Genet and Sebastien Brasseur. Deloche inspires others with his love of writing. Check out his website for tips, tricks, blog posts and all things archery.
Stats: Erika Jones is currently ranked second among female compound archers in the World Archery world rankings. She reached the podium for each stage of the 2014 Archery World Cup, and took silver in Compound Women Individual and gold in Compound Mixed Team of the finals. In 2013, Jones earned four World Cup silvers and individual and mixed team gold at the World Games in California. She won the 2013 Longines Prize, an award for most perfect 10s shot in a World Cup event.
World Archery named her the 2013 Female Athlete of the Year.
Why She’s Awesome: Jones has established 164 national records and 28 world records. She shot a 595 in December to break one of the longest standing world records at the Indoor World Championships. Whose title did she strip? Teammate and friend Christie Colin. The two celebrated with a hug.
All of the winners – as well as the Volunteer of the Year, Coach of the Year and Photograph of the Year – were announced Feb. 6 at the World Archery Gala, a highlight of the National Field Archery Association’s Vegas Shoot in Las Vegas, Nevada. Read more about the ceremony here.