This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Mackenzie Brown, the only female archer to represent the U.S. at the Rio Olympics. Find out about how she got her start in archery and her nickname "The Girl on Fire."
Q: You started off as a swimmer before transitioning to archery. Where did you first try archery and why did you decide to make the switch?
A: I first tried archery when I was 10, in 5th grade. We had a PE program that I was really interested in because it was something new that I hadn’t tried before, and I instantly fell in love with it. I didn’tswitch away from swimming completely right away, but I was serious about archery and wanted to pursue an Olympic career in archery.
Q: How did you get your nickname “The Girl On Fire”?
A: I got the nickname “Girl on Fire” when I competed in the gold medal match at a World Cup in Poland last year. When I walked into the finals venue they played “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys and the name stuck. I am a fan of the Hunger games though, I’ve read the books and seen the movies, but my favorite part is that it has brought more attention to archery and that it has encouraged more girls like me to try archery.
Q: Can you take me through an average day in your life?
A: On a normal day of training I wake up around 7 and get ready, I am not a morning person so I take a while to wake up. Then I get down to the shooting range and start my warm up by stretching and shooting at close range. On average, I shoot 300 arrows per day 4 days of the week, and 150 arrows 2 days a week. The type of training really depends on which part of the season I’m in and how close to a tournament I am. I live at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA, so I eat at the dining hall most days.
Q: Do you have any routines or superstitions before competing?
A: I don’t really have superstitions, but a routine I have is listening to music while I get ready and warm up.
Q: What was your favorite memory from competing in the Rio Olympics?
A: One of my favorite memories is walking in opening ceremonies and getting to represent my country while meeting my teammates from Team USA.
Q: What was it like being the only female archer on the USA team this year?
A: I felt very privileged to represent my country and my sport as a woman. I had a great time with my other teammates and really enjoyed supporting and watching them bring home a silver medal as a team, and Brady Ellison bring home an individual bronze medal.
Q: Will you be back in Tokyo 2020? If so, what are your goals for the next Olympic games? If not, what’s next for you?
A: I will be back for the 2020 Games and my goals will be the same; prepare for the best and represent my country to the best of my abilities.
Q: What is something that you wish people knew about the sport of archery?
A: I think something most people don’t know is that archery is that is a world class sport that is versatile for recreational shooters to professional archers.
Q: If you weren’t an archer, what would you be doing?
A: I would probably be a chef, I have always loved being in the kitchen and feeding people good food. I still like to cook when I have free time and a kitchen to use.
All photos copyrighted and provided by USA Archery.