Ingley’s journey has been long, but she finally made it after being the team’s reserve at the London 2012 Games. She has earned this chance to shine!
HOW SHE GOT STARTED
Ingley was a multitalented athlete when she was younger, competing in several sports and martial arts.
“Before I started archery I used to do karate, so I think I would have continued competing, and hopefully gone as far as I could have gone with that,” she said. “I started archery through my older brothers. Being a tomboy, I always did sports that my brothers did, and when my eldest brother started it, the whole family got involved. At the time I was too young for my local club, so I had to wait till I was 12 years old, so the day after my birthday was the day I started archery. When I’m in Rio, I will have been shooting just over half my life.”
WHEN SHE FIRST DREAMED OF THE OLYMPICS
“My earliest memory of the Olympics was when I was 7 years old, and I was lucky enough to hold one of the 2000 Sydney Olympic torches and get pictures with it,” Ingley said. “But it wasn’t until 2008, age 15, when I was given a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport that I realized I could potentially achieve my dream of going to the Olympics. I arrived there when the team was preparing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which motivated me even more.”
HOW SHE GOT THERE
Ingley had to make it through a tough sequence of Olympic trials for about four months, which included camps, and domestic and international competitions. Perhaps her bravest decision was leaving her job and moving 2,000 miles from home for the chance to make it to the Sambadrome.
“I was feeling quite overwhelmed before the Trials all started,” she said. “But having relocated from Perth to Brisbane (on the other side of Australia) in February for the Trials to train with the national coach and most of the archers competing for the Olympic spot, I felt quietly confident in myself and the choices I made to try and achieve my dream.”
“I’m really proud of the stability of my core and body,” Ingley continued. “It has been something I have been working on for a long time, and something I am proud to say is now consistent throughout my shot process. I definitely feel more settled and confident in my abilities, and ready for what is to come in Rio. I am nervous and excited at the same time!”
WHO SHE WILL MAKE PROUD?
“My family has been my biggest supporter on my journey,” she said. “They have always said if I’m willing to put in the hard work and dedication they will back me all the way. I’m so glad I am able to show them that their faith and encouragement has gone toward accomplishing my dreams. I’m so happy to be able to share my experience with them and everyone who has supported me throughout this time. This achievement is greater than me. It is the sum of all the incredible people and wonderful support around me.”
WHAT GIVES HER THE EDGE?
“We are currently in Taiwan training with the archers over here and mimicking what a day would be like during the Olympic competition,” Ingley said.
Helping with that simulation are some high school students who cheer wildly while the archers shoot. The athletes are also shooting lots of individual matches and men’s team matches, along with technique training and gym/strength work.
“I expect to shoot to the best of my abilities and hold nothing back,” Ingley said. “(I want) to enjoy every moment and regret nothing.”
WHAT SHE ANTICIPATES MOST ABOUT BRAZIL
“I’m looking forward to learning more about the culture and experiencing everything I possibly can,” Ingley said. “It will be my first time in South America, so I’m looking forward to visiting a new place and meeting new people.”
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE SHE’S RECEIVED?
“The best advice I have been given would be, ‘Change your thoughts and you’ll change your world,’” she said. “Just changing the way you mentally talk to yourself from negative to positive changes your views or perceptions, which has a massive outcome, whether that’s in sport or day-to day-life.”
DESCRIBE ARCHERY IN ONE WORD
Watch Ingley represent Australia at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games beginning Aug. 5. Check out NBC’s full broadcasting schedule here, then tune into the archery action to see who brings home archery gold.