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Toja Ellison was 13 years old the first time she shot a bow.
“As soon as I shot the first arrow, I fell in love with it,” she said. “I call it love at first arrow, and the love for archery never went away. I only love it more.”
Just one year later, Ellison was representing her home country of Slovenia at her first international archery competition – the World Field Championships. Shooting as a Junior, Ellison came in fourth out of four competitors, and she didn’t like the result.
“At that tournament, I decided that I will never be last again because I didn’t work hard,” she said. “I won my next tournament in Poland as a Cadet.”
Ellison shot her way up through the age classes over the following years, earning a reputation along the way as one of the best female compound archers in the world – especially when it comes to field and outdoor archery. She lists winning the World Field Championships in 2014 and the European Games in 2019 as her career highlights.
Married to three-time U.S. Olympian Brady Ellison, Toja now travels the world shooting in tournaments independently and as a member of Team Slovenia. In early 2020, she was ranked eighth in the world, with her highest world ranking - fourth - coming in 2017.
Ellison also works with her husband running the couple’s BE Archery brand.
“Archery helps me to grow as a person,” she said. “Success is a reward for hard work, and when it doesn’t go as planned, there is always something you can learn from the situation.”