U.S. archer takes aim at South Korea's reign in women's event - WSMV News 4

U.S. archer takes aim at South Korea's reign in women's event

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The lowdown on American archer Mackenzie Brown: She knits, line dances, used to be a competitive swimmer — backstroke was her specialty — and shoots arrows while listening to country music to hone her concentration.

Then there's this: The 21-year-old from Flint, Texas, may just be the archer to interrupt the dominance of South Korea, the nation that has captured seven of the last eight Olympic gold medals in the women's individual event heading into Rio.

Brown certainly has the aim to pull off the feat — the poise, too.

"If I go in with the right amount of confidence, I'm usually going to do really well," said Brown, who's attempting to become the first U.S. woman to win Olympic gold since Luann Ryon in 1976. "I'm my biggest competitor when it comes to that."

Brown took third at a Rio test event last September at the Sambadrome venue, the iconic stadium designed for the Samba Parade at Carnival. She finished behind winner Choi Misun of South Korea and runner-up Tan Ya-Ting of Taiwan.

"(The stadium) is really catching to the eye," Brown said. "It's going to be a really good venue."

Brown will be the lone American woman competing in Rio after teammates Khatuna Lorig and Hye Youn Park narrowly missed making the Olympic squad. Lorig is a big name in archery circles for what's she's accomplished — she was trying to make her sixth Olympic team — and for being the one who enhanced the archery skills of actor Jennifer Lawrence for her role as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games."

"I'm just going to do my best and feel like that's going to earn me a medal," Brown said.

She grew up a swimmer before being introduced to archery in middle school. From the start, she was talented — winning tournaments in divisions above her age.

"I grew up in deep Texas, where all I heard of was bow hunting. I had this image of the movie 'Robin Hood: Men in Tights.' That's what I knew about archery," Brown said. "Soon, I found out it was so much more. It was something I definitely have a passion for."

Typically, she will train to music in order to work on tuning out distractions. When she's not listening to country stars like Garth Brooks or George Strait, she's jamming to Meghan Trainor.

"Being able to push that (noise) away and focus on what I need to focus on, it becomes a benefit," explained Brown, whose hobby is knitting and makes garments to protect her equipment while traveling. "I'm just really looking forward to how things turn out."

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