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Sports

Elma native going to Rio Olympics

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Elma native Jake Kaminski will be one of four U.S. archers headed to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Kaminski secured his second trip to the Olympics after the final stage of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Archery concluded Monday in Newberry, FL.The men’s team will be comprised of Kaminski, Brady Ellison and Zach Garrett, while Mackenzie Brown has locked down her spot on the women’s team. Two other archers, veterans Hye Youn Park and five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig, can earn their spots at next month’s world cup event in Antalya, Turkey. If the U.S. women’s team finishes in the top three among non-qualified nations there, Team USA qualifies two additional individual spots and a place in the team competition in Rio.

Kaminski will be competing in his second Olympic Games, Ellison his third. Garrett and Brown are first-timers. Should the U.S. qualify the additional two women’s spots, Lorig will make her sixth Olympic appearance for three different countries.

Kaminski noted a big difference qualifying in 2012 and now. “It was a lot more stressful because we had an incredible amount of talent shooting this year,” he said to Team USA. “The third spot last year would not have made top eight this year. It’s incredible how much more depth we have in the field, so it’s been a lot more stressful," he said.

That depth has pushed the top archers to perform even better and Kaminski believes the extensive three-stage selection process has produced a team that can contend in Rio.

“We definitely have a really solid team,” he said. “The way that people have been shooting the last year, specifically the last eight to 10 months, definitely Brady, Garrett and I are the top three shooters in the U.S. right now.”

Kaminski, along with Ellison and Jacob Wukie, won the team silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Currently No. 25 in the world, Kaminski won golds at the 2013 world championship and Guadalajara 2011 Pan American Games, as well as the 2012 world indoor championship and 2010 world cup final (in mixed team). He also has earned individual gold at the 2010 Pan American Championships.

Archery is what both Kaminski and his wife Amanda do - he shoots and she coaches. Currently they live just outside of Gainesville, FL. When Kaminski is not traveling to tournaments around the world, he is working with his sponsors to develop new equipment.