A year ago, in honor of Valentine’s Day, Archery 360 asked Facebook followers to share their archery love stories – and we got lots of great responses, from love of the sport to love stories that started on the archery field. This year, we checked in with three of our favorite couples, all of whom have literally traveled the world to find love.
Archery is a foundation for love.
Joshua and Brittany (Lorenti) Binger met in May 2006 at the U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships in Los Angeles, where they qualified for the World University Archery Championships in Slovakia. Their love for archery formed the foundation of a strong friendship.
Despite an intercollegiate rivalry – he’s a Texas A&M Aggie, and she bleeds purple and gold as a James Madison University alum – their friendship grew. Joshua and Brittany called each other regularly, and looked forward to reunions at archery tournaments.
“We both have competed on the World Cup stage, with Brittany winning individual gold at a stage in 2009, and me winning a team gold medal at a stage in 2007,” Josh explained. “Before we dated, we both won the 2009 Arizona Cup in the Compound Division – that was pretty cool.”
Their best tournament, though, proved to be the Costa Rica Cup in August 2013, where both archers competed. Joshua took second place, and Brittany won the World ranking event. But even those feats couldn’t top what happened next: while out sightseeing with several of their teammates, Josh proposed at the base of a 120-foot waterfall.
This couple is on target for success: Joshua and Brittany held their destination wedding at the Excellence Playa Mujeres Resort in Cancun, Mexico, on Sept. 5, 2015. Brittany is now working as a nurse, while Josh works in sales – and they’re both hoping to compete again at this year’s U.S. National Target Championships in Decatur, Alabama.
Love really does conquer all.
Steve Anderson and Linda Ochoa can attest to that. The USA and Mexico compound archers, respectively, met at the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia.
“Archery allows us to compete around the world together,” Linda said. “It’s our way of seeing the world while we’re young. Everybody wants to see the world, and we get to do it together while competing and working toward our competitive goals.”
From their first meeting at a tournament to their engagement, archery has played a major role in the couple’s relationship.
“Our engagement day was incredible,” Linda said. “We were in San Diego for the SoCal Showdown in June 2013. When the tournament was over, we dressed up for a fancy dinner and went to the beach to walk and watch the sunset. After a perfect talk, Steve proposed right there on the beach.”
Update: The two married on Jan. 17, 2015 – and their one-year anniversary proved to be a lucky day for Ochoa-Anderson! She recently snagged a gold medal at the Archery World Cup in Nimes. Read more about their archery love story here.
From Tasmania to Denmark
The couple met at the first leg of the World Cup in the Dominican Republic while trying to help the same friend. Martin was helping the friend drown his sorrows in beer after a rough day of shooting, and Erika was helping by swapping his beer for Coke because he had an interview at 10 a.m. the next day.
“Our relationship wouldn’t exist without archery,” Erika said. “Our first dates were all international: Shanghai, Vegas, Turkey. So it all sounds romantic, but when we’d turn around and see our entire team sitting at the next table waving at us, it wasn’t always as romantic as planned. Most days we train together, which makes training better, especially on days we don’t want to train, like when it’s freezing cold or the shots just aren’t landing.”
The couple shares common goals, common frustrations with archery, and a huge pool of mutual friends from before they started dating. They also share a love of roller coasters and “crappy action movies.” Plus, Erika likes to cook and Martin likes to eat.
“I moved from Tasmania, Australia, to Aarhus, Denmark,” Erika said. “We decided on the cross-continental move [in 2013], but then discovered I had to fly to Sydney to apply for a Danish green card, and then wait for up to two years for an answer. Now I’m attending Danish classes three days a week and getting reasonably competent baking knækbrød, jordbærkage and lagekage. Learning to bake Danish food is a lot easier than learning to say the words.”
Update: Erika passed her Danish exams recently, and is looking for a job in addition to her archery adventures. Martin continues to compete internationally, currently ranked 9th in the world.
Ready to find your own archery love story? You don’t need to go far to find Cupid’s arrow – just as far as your local archery store. Get a bow in your hand today!