Wes Blake’s story began when he was 13 years old. Blake tried his hand at archery after a spectator showed him a photo of a famous archer. The 55-year-old told ESPN: “I wanted to be that guy.”
After discovering the sport, he was moved to it after graduating high school. Though he had a love for the green and white stripes, Blake says his skills were much closer to current example than to the 2008 shot-put Olympian.
After a chance encounter with an archery coach, Blake entered the 2013 Ironman World Championships for the first time. Though he failed to finish in the top five in his age group, he competed at the 2014 event and finished fourth.
In the 2015 event, Blake had a big breakthrough. Though he failed to make the finals, it was his first time winning an international event in the sport he loves. With a few months down the line, his current ambition is to hit the Paralympic Games.
In January, Blake won a bronze medal at the U.S. Paralympic Archery National Championships. Though he missed his goal of gold, his victory could be seen as much more than just a single medal.
“He broke the world record in March,” said Colby Conover, a member of the Washington Archery Club and one of Blake’s coaches. “When you look at the world record, there’s no criteria. It was moved up to make it harder. Every shot he took, he set a new record. That means his mental is really good.”
Read more at ESPN.