Despite failing to bring home the gold this summer, U.S. archer Brady Ellison left London with his head held up, as he helped the U.S. team win the silver medal in archery. Ellison, 24, along with teammates Jake Kaminski and Jacob Wuki, defeated Japan and upset the defending gold medalists, South Korea, before losing to Italy in the final match. While coming up short may have been a disappointment, there is much to look forward to in the future of this top-ranked archer.

Born in Glendale, Ariz., Ellison has always had a competitive streak. In 2005, while attending camp, Ellison’s archery equipment malfunctioned when it suffered a snapped string. Waiting for his parents to send him a backup bow, Ellison’s friend lent him his replacement bow to use. Fortunately, once Ellison started to use his friend’s bow, he was able to showcase his talent.

Ellison competed in the 2007 World Archery Championship. Along with teammates Butch Johnson and Vic Wunderie, Ellison was able to clinch an individual quota and a team quota as they helped the U.S. earn a victory over Japan with a score of 218-213. This same team would end up traveling to Beijing the following year for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Ellison made his Olympic debut in the summer of 2008. During his time there, Ellison ended up with a total of 664 points, earning him the 15th seed for the competition bracket. He went on to face and, eventually beat, Canada’s John Burnes in the first round with a score of 111-89. Ellison was then eliminated by Canadian Jay Lyon by a score of 113- 107. In the team event the trio of Ellison, Johnson and Wunderie were eliminated in the first round as they lost 228-218 to the Chinese Taipei.

Since qualifying for the Olympics back in 2008, Ellison has never been afraid to wear his Olympic pride on his sleeve – literally. “For me, it symbolizes the commitment and the permanency of being an Olympic athlete,” Ellison told Uinterview in an exclusive interview, referring to his colorful Olympic tattoo. “We train four years for this one opportunity to compete at this world stage.”

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Q: Why did you decide to get the Olympic Rings as a tattoo? - Uinterview User

This my Olympic Rings tattoo — I got it after I made the team in May before we went to Beijing, so I had it before we went over there. For me, it symbolizes the commitment and the permanency of being an Olympic athlete. We train four years for this one opportunity to compete at this world stage. The Olympic tattoo is something that only Olympic athletes go and get. I mean, anyone can go and get it but it’s the unwritten rule that unless you’ve made the Olympic team, you don’t go get that tattoo. It’s just kind of neat to be able to have that honor to put it on there and to be able to put USA on my back and represent everyone that supports us, donated to the USOC [United States Olympic Committee], and everyone that supports the Olympic movement. When I step out onto that field, I’m not just representing myself or my sponsors — it’s everyone in America that is standing behind me that I’m representing too. It’s an honor for me to be able to go out and do that.

Q: What’s your workout regimen in preparation for the Olympics? - Uinterview User

Mostly what I do is I shoot repetition — archery is an endurance sport. I’m on the field from 8:00 or 8:30 until 5:00 everyday shooting arrows. That’s six days a week; I do cross training, mountain biking, and swimming when I get fitted in. And it’s just lots and lots of repetition.

Q: How do you get mentally prepared before a tournament? - Uinterview User

Mentally, I put in hours and hours of work into my mental routine, whether it’s on the field or off the field, I’m always working on mental stuff. Going into competitions, it’s the same routine as going into practice or anything like that. So it doesn’t matter if I’m practicing or going into a tournament — my mindset is always the same. There’s no difference, the only thing that happens is my environment changes. But you just adapt to your environment and run the same mental routine that you always do.