To the average onlooker, archery might seem to be one of the most tedious if not strenuous sports at the Summer Olympics. But to Arizona native Brady Ellison, pulling back the string and aiming at a target roughly 75 yards away can be as peaceful as bow hunting in the great outdoors.

In this Inspiring Athletes conversation, the three-time Pan American Games gold medalist talks about how he got into the sport and how his faith fuels his competitive drive:

Chad Bonham: At what point in your life did you decide to pursue your Olympic dream?

Brady Ellison (Photo by Teresa Iaconi)

Brady Ellison: I started training full time for the Olympics in January of 2006.

Bonham: How did you get into archery and what about the sport do you most appreciate and enjoy?

Ellison: I got into the sport through hunting. I think it is a beautiful sport to watch when done right. I like the level of precision it takes to be at the top.

Bonham: What are some key principles that you’ve relied upon throughout your Olympic pursuit?

Ellison: Having the will to keep driving no matter what and knowing that God and my family are behind me supporting me no matter how I do.

Bonham: How did you become a Christian?

Brady Ellison (Photo by Teresa Iaconi)

Ellison: I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was little. I never knew what that meant. I believe that God saved me from dying in a horrible car accident in Vermont, and from there I started to take my faith a little more serious. I met a man named Jansen Asbill and he really opened my eyes to the Lord. And then my wonderful girlfriend and family helped change me for the better.

Bonham: How has your faith in God specifically helped you deal with the challenges you’ve faced as an Olympian?

Ellison: Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Once I put winning in God’s hands, I stopped worrying about that. I just went to tournaments and shot with no fear, doing only the best I can do and leaving the rest up to God.

Read more about the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics in the July issue of Charisma Magazine.

And check out Chad Bonham’s latest book Glory of the Games that features 18 past and present Olympians such as Shannon Miller, Tamika Catchings, Josh Davis, Ryan Hall, Dave Johnson and Kevin Durant discussing various biblical principles that have helped them succeed as elite international athletes.

You can also find a wealth of great information about the Olympics and the US Olympians by visiting NBCOlympics.com and TeamUSA.org including photos, videos, bios, news stories, results and much more!

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