Up until this point, we’ve been super mainstream with our Olympians to Watch features, going on and on about the gymnasts and swimmers who dominate prime time. Today, we thought we’d take a minute for some old-school Olympics, though, and rally behind the world’s #1 archer, Team USA’s Brady Ellison. He’s here to remind you that this sport is not only played by Robin Hood, Legolas and Katniss. While he might not be honing his bow and arrow skills to survive The Hunger Games, Brady is shooting for gold today in the individual round of 64. As we “let the games begin,” we hope Ellison continues to rake in medals after his silver win in Saturday’s team competition.
Who is Brady Ellison, anyway? Since he’s not plastered all over every magazine cover in America, we’ll give you a little introduction with these fun facts about the 23-year-old from Glendale, Arizona:
1. He has his own wave
Yes, Ellison has become such a big deal in the archery world that he has his own signature wave that he does at competitions and crowds wave in return. Cultish? Miss America-esque? He assures us that he is keeping it manly with the “Brady wave,” saying, “It’s not a side-to-side wave or a pageant wave or nothing like that.”
2. His tattoo makes him an Olympian for life
When he made the 2008 Olympic team, Ellison tattooed the Olympic rings and “Beijing 2008” on his right forearm. Ellison said, “I put it on my forearm because when I’m at full draw, it would be in all the pictures.” We guess we won’t be forgetting he’s an Olympian anytime soon.
3. His teammates call him “Pup”
When Brady first moved to the U.S. Olympic Training Center, he acquired the nickname, “Pup.” How precious! He says everyone started calling him Pup because he was the youngest, had long blond hair, and was “kind of a goofy little kid.”
4. He’s a big ol’ country boy
Ellison has a signature hunter look where beat-up baseball caps meet cowboy boots. Talking about his style, he says, “I’m more of a cowboy-type country than redneck-type country. Although I’ve been called a redneck and a hick.” Whatever you want to call him, Ellison is definitely our favorite Olympian cowboy.
[Photos: Getty Images]