Former Rim Country Middle School student Brady Ellison won the gold medal in the men’s recurve at the European Indoor Championships held in mid-January in Nimes, France. The 2008 Olympian is currently ranked No. 1 in the world.
Although Ellison, 22, hasn’t lived in Payson for about nine years, his grandparents, John and Alesha Calderwood, are residents. During a recent short stay, he visited Payson Elementary School to talk to students about his pursuit of the Olympic dream.
Ellison formerly attended both PES and RCMS before moving to Glendale at the end of his seventh-grade year.
In 2008, Ellison took first place in all three Olympic Trials and was the top member of the U.S. team that traveled to Beijing in August 2008. Almost immediately after his return, he began preparations for the 2012 Olympics in London.
He’s now traveling the world competing in some of the sport’s most prestigious events: the World Archery Festival in Las Vegas, the Indoor World Championships in Poland, the Mexican Grand Prix in Baja, Mexico, World Cup and the 2010 Pan Am Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he set three championship records. At the World Cup final in Edinburgh, Scotland, Ellison won the championship. Ellison and Jenny Nichols won the gold in the mixed team event. He has also traveled to Croatia, Turkey, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, China, El Salvador, Korea, Denmark and a host of American cities.
The world class archer has been involved in competitive archery since he was only 8 and lived in Payson.
He fondly recalls those days in the Rim Country.
“I remember Payson as a small town where you could ride your bike out into the forests and shoot or do about anything you wanted to,” he said.
“I had a lot of fun there.”