Interview of Reo WILDE (USA): "I hope that I will be considered to have been one of the greatest in a sport I love"
23 January 2012
The American won the very first Archery World Cup Final in 2006. In 2009, he became World Champion in Ulsan, Korea, 12 years after his famous father Dee WILDE. He is also a multiple outdoor team world champion and has held numerous world records… And this is not counting his multiple titles in indoor archery.
Individual and team world champion 2009 Reo WILDE from the USA won the very first Archery World Cup Final in 2006. In 2009, he became World Champion in Ulsan, Korea, 12 years after his famous father, Dee WILDE, earned the same title. The experienced American archer is also a multiple outdoor team world champion (2003, 2007, 2009, 2011) and has held the world record numerous times… And this is not counting his multiple titles and feats in indoor archery. One of today’s best compound archers in the world, Reo WILDE comes from a family with a strong tradition of archery. It all started when Dee WILDE found a bow as a kid, and started playing around with it, chasing anything he could. In 1985 Dee introduced his eldest son Reo, then aged 12, to archery. Because Reo played many sports while growing up, he was not very serious about archery initially. In a WIN&WIN Fan Reporter feature story on www.archery.tv during the Istanbul World Cup Final, his father remembers that "Reo’s buddies were giving him a bad time because they were beating him. My wife said: 'Are you going to help him?' I replied, 'When he asks, I will help him.' That was in 1992." The following year, in 1993 in Vegas, Reo won the open division, and Dee won the pro division. In 2003, Reo, Dee and Reo’s younger brother Logan all tried to earn a place on the US team for the World Championships in New York City. At the trials, Dee finished as the top qualifier, immediately followed by his son Reo. Logan, however, did not succeed in securing a position on the team at that time. Together with Dave COUSINS and Braden GELLENTHIEN, Dee and Reo won the gold medal in the Team event in New York. "I get just as nervous when they shoot than when I do, and maybe more so," confesses Dee. The WILDEs insist that the competitive side of archery does not break their strong family ties. On the contrary, they consider these family ties their key to success in the sport. "Not very often do you get the opportunity for father and son, in any sport, to compete together," says Dee of this unique experience. "The best part of being involved in archery with my sons is the fact that I get to share things with them. I get to see the things that they are going through, I’ve experienced them and I know those feelings, both the wins and the losses." Following Reo WILDE’s 2006 victory in the inaugural World Cup Final in Mexico, he was named Athlete of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and won the USOC Athlete of the Month award in October. The American archer won the individual and team title at the World Archery Championships 2009 in Ulsan, Korea. In 2011, he started the World Cup season with two wins (team and mixed team) at Stage 1 in Croatia, breaking the 50m Round (72 arrows) world record with 711 points in qualifications. Besides competing in national and international tournaments, Reo WILDE provides archery group seminars throughout the year. He also organises individual training sessions specialising in three main areas: bow setup, shot sequence, and building confidence. Although Reo WILDE is a funded member of the Pro Team at Hoyt, he has worked for UPS for seventeen years: He uses all of his vacation time for archery events. Because an archer’s salary is only earned through victories, Reo maintains his career outside of sport to ensure consistent income and security for his wife and two young children. Reo and Dee WILDE congratulate World Cup winner Rodger WILLET Jr. In September 2011, Reo WILDE bought his father a plane ticket to Istanbul to attend the World Cup Final. Though Reo did not take the gold medal at this event, his father said he is just as proud. We met Reo following the World Cup Final and asked him about archery in general, his archery career and his famous archery family. What was the highlight of your career? Probably winning the World Cup Final in 2006, with my wife attending. It was our first tournament together. Before that she didn’t realise how big an event it was. How do you see your career compared to that of the greatest archers in history, including your father? I feel I have had a good career so far, but it is always an honour to be mentioned with the Greats in your sport, including my father. I just hope when I finish that I will be considered to have been one of the greatest in a sport I love. By the time you finish your career, who do you think will be the greatest archer of all time? I hope when I decide to put my bow down that I would be considered the best. That is what drives me to keep shooting and trying to win, to shoot the best scores ever shot. What did your father bring you, archery-wise? He got me into archery which is the best thing he could do. He also gave me instructions and guidelines to help me get to where I want to go in the sport. He’s always going to do the best thing for you, and nothing else. How is it like to compete against your father and brother? It's fun because for the times we face each other in head-to-head matches, I always want to win, but you don't feel so bad when you lose. It's also great to have a person to push you to do well on the field. We have such a great relationship that it is just fun. My brother and I get along really well. Between competitions we practice archery together in my parents’ backyard. It is really nice to shoot together. The best part is when he makes teams, that’s a good roommate. What do you think of the 50 metres distance? I think it doesn't give as big of gap from top shooters to the lower guys. This makes everyone have a chance to win. So this has its pluses and minuses, but if it gets my bow in the Olympic Games though, it will be worth it. Passing the baton to Christopher PERKINS And what about the fact that the 19-year old Christopher PERKINS (CAN) won the gold medal in Turin? I wished it was me but he shot great. He is a good guy and I was happy for him. The age never really has made a big difference in our sport. Dietmar TRILLUS won a few years back and he was older. So it's just not a big deal. What do you think about the cadet world record (under 17) being already at 149 points? It's no surprise. 50m doesn't really have that big of effect like the longer distances did. The speed from longer draw length and more pounds just doesn't have any bearing anymore. How do you see the next indoor season: World Cup (Singapore, Nimes, Vegas) and the World Championships on home turf in Vegas? I'm really excited. I love indoors and having won two World Indoor Championships it would be the best to win one in the US. Vegas is fun, and having fans here see a fellow American win is what would make it the best. I will be doing all the Indoor World Cups this year. It will be my first time in Singapore, it should be a great shot. As for the other two shoots, they are great events and I love to shoot both. Then to top it off, winning the Indoor World Cup again would be great. I'm just really excited to get back at it and I see it as a great start to the year. Best Results: Reo WILDE (USA) – Born 6 October 1973 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st Individual Team Team Mixed Team Team Team Team Team Team Individual Team Individual Team Individual Team World Championships World Championships World Cup Porec World Cup Porec World Cup Ogden World Cup Porec World Cup Santo Domingo World Cup Santo Domingo World Cup Varese World Cup Final Merida World Cup Shanghai World Cup Porec World Cup Porec World Indoor Championships World Indoor Championships 2009 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011 2011 2011 2010 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2006 2006 2006 2003, 2005 2003, 2005, 2007 More information on Reo WILDE is available on www.worldarchery.org/ArcherSearch as well as his own webpage www.reowilde.com and Facebook page. Vanahé ANTILLE World Archery Communication