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How Close Did Geena Davis Come to Competing in the Olympics for Archery?

Key Points:

  • Geena Davis became an archery champion at age 41, after being inspired by the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
  • Within two years, Davis had become so proficient that she narrowly missed qualifying for the 2000 Sydney Olympics archery team.
  • Davis continues to practice archery for fun and has seen the impact of media representation on inspiring young girls to take up the sport.

Geena Davis is no stranger to taking on physically demanding roles, from playing a baseball catcher to a pirate queen. However, her greatest athletic challenge came not on the silver screen but in her pursuit of a spot on the Olympic archery team. The Academy Award-winning actress came agonizingly close to achieving this remarkable feat, demonstrating her unwavering determination and passion for the sport.

Geena Davis
Geena Davis

According to People, Davis’s archery journey began in an unexpected way. While watching the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, she became captivated by the sport and wondered if she might have a natural talent for it. With a background in learning various physical disciplines for her acting roles, Davis decided to take up archery in earnest at the age of 41.

“I found a coach and became utterly obsessed,” Davis recalls. “Yeah, I took it up at 41, and it became my life for a couple of years.” Her dedication paid off as she quickly rose through the ranks, winning local, national, and international tournaments within just six months of training.

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Geena Davis Missed the Olympic Dream

Geena Davis via abc
Geena Davis via abc

Within two years, Davis had honed her skills to such an extent that she competed with 300 other women for a spot on the U.S. Olympic archery team, aiming to represent her country at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Her 24th-place finish narrowly missed securing an Olympic berth, but she did earn a wildcard entry to the Sydney International Golden Arrow competition in 1999.

Despite falling short of her Olympic dream, Davis’s remarkable achievement in becoming an archery champion at the age of 41 is a testament to her unwavering dedication and athletic prowess.

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Davis’s archery journey has taken on an unexpected significance in recent years. In 2012, her archery coach informed her of a sudden surge in the number of young girls taking up the sport, which he attributed to the release of movies like “The Hunger Games” and “Brave.”

“Girls left the theater and bought a bow. It was absolutely instant… but that’s the kind of impact that images can have,” Davis reflects, underscoring the importance of media representation in inspiring and empowering young girls.

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