Mack Brown: We could have medalled if mixed team in Rio

20 June 2017
Salt Lake City (USA)
The USA’s lone woman at the 2016 Olympic Games finished 17th individually.

Twenty-two year-old Mackenzie Brown made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016. The USA’s sole female archer at the Games was joined by a full recurve men’s team of Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski and Zach Garrett.

Mack made it to the second round, finishing 17th overall.

Since 1988, archery at the Olympic Games has consisted of four archery competitions: individual and team, men’s and women’s events. For Tokyo 2020, a fifth medal has been added with the inclusion of the mixed team.

“I love that we’re having the mixed team at the Olympics,” she said. “I’m really excited because, in my mind, I think that we would have been able to win a medal at Rio if there was the mixed team.”

“I really enjoy shooting the mixed team because a lot of times you don’t get to mix with the guys, so I think it kinda brings the whole team together. I hope to shoot it in Tokyo.”

If that medal had been available in Rio, Brown and Ellison would have been one of the top seeded pairs.

“I really like shooting with Brady, he was my first person to go to mixed team medal with in Shanghai in 2014. He has a very calm personality and we work together on pushing each other and having fun. I would love to shoot with Brady at the Olympics; that would be awesome,” she said.

On a USA women’s squad that has just Khatuna Lorig, a five-time Olympian in the latter stages of her competitive career, and Mackenzie with Games experience, Brown’s role for the Tokyo cycle is key.

“Just having gone to the Olympics to have the experience of what the level of competition is, as well as all the emotions you go through while you are at the Games, was really nice,” said Mackenzie.

“It’s hard to share that because I had so many other Olympians telling me what it feels like and once I got there I felt all of those things, and some other things that were completely different as well.”

“I’m trying to encourage all the girls around me, who I’m training with for the Olympics, to focus on what we can achieve, that’s the key.”

Salt Lake City is Brown’s first Hyundai Archery World Cup stage on home soil. Her teammates are La Nola Sheperd, Ariel Gibilaro and Anna Miscione – a group, Mack said, that grew up together: “It’s a good team”.

It’s also the team that new women’s coach Songi Woo will inherit when she completes her move over from Great Britain. Songi was also behind Aida Roman ahead of her break-out silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

That’s in the future. The present is Salt Lake City – where Mack will need to pick up some circuit ranking points to be in with a chance of qualifying for the Final in Rome.

“[The goal at] this World Cup stage is to go for an individual medal. I was working on a couple of things out in China, I sat Turkey out but I think we’ll come out here and shoot a good qualification, sleep well and have some good matches,” she said. 

“Hopefully we’ll do well in the mixed team, too!”

The third stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 20 to 25 June in Salt Lake City, USA