Student Spotlight: Eunice Choi shoots for success

Team+Colombia+at+the+2022+Junior+Pan+Am+Championships%2C+USA+team+placed+3rd+in+their+womens+team+rounds.

Photo used with permission of Eunice Choi

Team Colombia at the 2022 Junior Pan Am Championships, USA team placed 3rd in their women’s team rounds.

Gayda Makki , Staff Writer

As senior Eunice Choi’s eyes fix on the target, she lifts her hands and tightens her grip on the bow, releasing the string and hitting the target right on the cherry. As a kid, Eunice loved playing sports and was eager to find the right sport for her. It inspired her to try out many different sports including soccer, basketball, tennis and swimming. This was until sixth grade came along in which she decided to try archery. Within the first day, she grew to love the sport and aimed for success in the field. Throughout her ten years playing archery, she participated in several different competitions, and placed first place in many of them. She now plays for the USA national team. 

Why archery? What was so significant about this particular sport that caught your interest? 

I just always wanted to find a sport I was interested in, but I didn’t know which one I wanted to do. I tried out many other sports before choosing archery. I was watching many YouTube videos and I just really liked how the arrow looked when it was flying to the target. If you look at it in slow motion, the arrow doesn’t go straight, but rather it moves from side to side, which I really enjoyed watching.

Who or what was your motivation to keep going? 

It’s not a who, but it’s that I wanted to keep getting better at it. Archery is an individual sport, not team based, which means it all comes down to what you can do. I really liked that aspect of archery. My whole mindset was that the more effort I put into, the better I got. This really pushed me to keep going. As I kept scoring and going to competitions, my enthusiasm for the sport grew. That really motivated me to get to first place. 

Was there a time in your life where you ever felt like giving up; if so how did you overcome this? 

Yes, definitely. There were so many times. This is because archery is physically taxing; it’s really hard to balance it with school. Archery is not a sport where you can easily just slack off, it needs continued practice and training. If you don’t practice everyday, your form might become off, which can take weeks to fix. This brings me to quarantine in 2020, where everything shut down, including where I practice for archery, meaning I had no way to train and shoot arrows. This was probably the hardest moment of my life. I had to start shooting at my house, which was certainly not enough. As soon as my club started back up again, I strived to work harder in order to bring back what I had before quarantine. 

How did you manage school with archery? 

At that point of my life, it was more of a fixed routine that I established for myself in middle school. I did the same routine everyday, so once I got to high school, there were no adjustments needed. It was now something I could balance easily. Starting in middle school, when I got home I’d go straight to archery, come home, do my homework and eat dinner and finally go to sleep. 

Was it ever physically or mentally draining you? 

No, I don’t think it was ever really draining, because archery was a time I could relieve all my stress. I felt relaxed and happy when I was holding the bow and arrow. 

What’s your favorite thing about archery? 

There are so many different things I can say. I think my top three favorite aspects of archery are the environment, the people and just the sport itself. Like I said: it soothes me like nothing else.