Shooting star: Archer aims at Tokyo gold without arm pain

Between the remodeling of his archery workshop and the breeding of piglets, Brady ellison shoot around 100 arrows a day in your custom range.

That is not a very high volume for him. He's scaled back with the coronavirus pandemic postponing the Tokyo Games until next summer and its season on hold.

This is the promising part: no shooting pain.

A while ago, the three-time Olympic medalist felt a severe discomfort in his right arm every time he released an arrow.

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The doctors were unable to resolve it. I couldn't get through it. He almost quit and went to work at a local copper mine in Arizona.

Now gold in Tokyo is back in the picture.

His return will be highlighted in an upcoming documentary and features a Hollywood-style twist: A natural healer in Slovenia helped ease his pain to the point of becoming the world champion.

I went from looking for a job and leaving archery to believing I would win in Tokyo, Ellison, 31, said in a telephone interview from his six-acre property in Globe, Arizona, where he is waiting for the season to resume. Now I have more momentum than I have.

Typically at this time of year, Ellison is shooting 300 arrows each day in a range he built with a tractor and features 50 and 70 meter targets.

Instead, he cut down on the shooting and takes care of the house projects. He rebuilt the wooden floor in his workshop, which also serves as an interior installation. They are actually two sheds linked together where you simply open the doors to both of them to shoot.

She is also tending a litter of piglets and squeezing out some bow fishing.

Anything to pass the time until the competitions start again. He does not feel the crisis even though he depends on events for approximately 70% of his income. Over the years, he has had financial insight with his earnings.

I've always said that if I get hurt or something, I want to be able to pay all my bills and not lose anything if I have to go find a job at McDonald's, he said.

Ellison sees himself competing in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics, if not more.

Especially now, with his arm again to feel better.

Shortly after capturing an Olympic bronze medal in the individual event at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games, along with silver during the team competition, Ellison began experiencing pain in one of his fingers.

It steadily worsened as the pain radiated from his fingertips through his arm.

I felt like a streak of light when I shot, he said.

Discomfort persisted in 2017 and '18. He consulted medical experts and specialists on hand.

Doctors almost all told me to resign, said Ellison, who also won a silver at the team event at the 2012 London Games.

His wife Toja competes in archery for Slovenia and heard of a natural healer in his country. The healer specialized in helping people with thyroid conditions that Ellison has treated and for which he is taking medication. It was in the fall of 2018 for that reason.

He never mentioned the concerns of his arm.

First consultation: He told me he had a right hand injury, Ellison said.

Ellison said the process was simple. The healer put his hands on Ellison's arm/hand and almost instantly felt relief.

Three days later I shot more arrows in a single day than in three years, said Ellison, who is still visiting the healer when he and his wife return to Slovenia. Without pain.

In 2019, Ellison presented a memorable season that included a world title and a return to first place in the world ranking for the first time since March 2013.

On the back of your head, you're a little scared (the pain) could happen again, Ellison said. So you make every day count while you can. He didn't take anything for granted like before.

An image of Ellison went viral on social media during the River games . A photo of a bearded Ellison ran alongside a photo of the actor. Leonardo Dicaprio from the movie The Revenant.

The resemblance was perfect. He was asked almost as much about that as his medals.

Suddenly, people just showed up on the field and asked me, 'What do you think of the comparisons to him?' Ellison recalled. And then I looked it up and said, 'OK, this really became a thing.' Everything is fun.

Now, there is even more in common with DiCaprio - they both appear in movies.

World Archery followed Ellison last season for a film titled "Believe: Brady ellison ." He hasn't seen an edited version, but has watched the trailer of the documentary due out this summer.

He gives her a thumbs up.

Hopefully it will receive many successes as there are no sporting events at this time, Ellison said. I really want to see it.