By Taylor Walston
Archery brings people together. When practicing with a team, you connect with teammates and bond through your love for the sport. It’s a great way to find friends who share your interests, and possibly lead you to love. The next time you’re at the range, you just might find the other half of an archery power couple.
Rachelle Anne Dela Cruz and Paul Marton Dela Cruz met while competing for the Philippines. They received lots of love from their country by winning the mixed team compound division for the Philippines’ sole gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games. They’re raising two children while living in the athlete dorms at the F.R. Sevilla Archery Center in Novaliches, Quezon City.
The couple found it hard to leave their young children while traveling to qualifying meets for that competition, but Rachelle said that sacrifice motived her and her husband. “I was thinking that if we lose, we’d get a silver, but if we win, all the hard work would be worth it,” Rachelle said in an article by Rappler. They certainly made it worth it, and they represented the Philippines with pride.
Astrid Daxbock and Gudmundar Orn Gudjonsson met when Gudjonsson opened the first public archery facility in his area of Iceland. Because of Iceland’s laws on bows, archers’ only other option was a club that required a membership to shoot.
Daxbock began training at the center soon after it opened. The couple now represent Iceland at tournaments, competing in the recurve and compound divisions. Even when traveling to competitions together, they hardly see each other. Gudjonsson joked in an article by World Archery that the time apart might be part of the reason he enjoys competing so much.
Gudjonsson and Daxbock hold positions with the Icelandic Archery Federation, which was founded in December. People credit Gudjonsson for archery’s growing popularity in Iceland. Before he opened his facility, only 10 of Iceland’s 300,000 residents were registered archers. Iceland now has 500 registered archers. Consider that power if you want to grow archery in your area.
Brady Ellison is a well-known talent in archery. He has been competing since 2002, and is the world’s top-ranked archer. His wife, Toja (Cerne) Ellison ranks there with him. Brady met Toja, a Slovenian archer, at a competition in 2014, and they’ve won over 130 medals between them.
Brady proposed to Toja in 2016 after the Vegas Shoot in Las Vegas, and they now live and train together in Arizona. They support each other’s archery endeavors, and constantly encourage each other to do their best. They share a Facebook account and a website where fans can follow their journeys. Tune into the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo to watch Brady in action.
Archery has a way of bringing people together. It can cultivate lifelong friendships, or something deeper. The archery power couples mentioned here are only a snapshot of the bonds archery creates.
Visit your local range for more information on clubs, leagues and other ways to participate in archery.