Name: Ariel Gibilaro
Sport: Archery 
Discipline: Recurve
Height: 5'5" 
Current Residence: Chula Vista, Calif.

Career Highlights:

  • 2015 Archery World Cup, team bronze medal
  • 2012 World Archery Indoor Championships, team bronze medal 

Get to Know Ariel: 

- How did you get your start in archery? My mom asked me if I wanted to take an archery class through the Parks & Rec department in my town. I thought it sounded cool (archery like Robinhood, right?), so I said yes. The beginner class was after the intermediate class so I would see the intermediate kids leaving with their own bows. I wanted one of my own so my parents and I each got one. My dad made a target and stand so we could shoot in the backyard. I joined a Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) team to learn more and started shooting tournaments. I really enjoyed it so I stuck with it. 

- Who inspired you to start shooting? I started shooting because it was fun. I liked being able to shoot better than the high school boys with fancier bows when I was in middle school. 

- How did you come to be in the Resident Athlete program? I have always wanted to go to the Olympics ever since I watched the 2000 Games. When I realized I was pretty good at archery and I enjoyed it enough to keep doing it, I knew the only way I could advance to make an Olympic Team was to become an RA. My coach at the time, Teresa Johnson, introduced me to Coach Guy and Coach Lee. She helped me a lot to get into the program after I graduated high school. I learned enough to get my scores above the Minimum Qualifying Score, so I applied and was accepted. 

- What are your favorite things to do other than archery? I like to go hiking, read, and learn new things especially about anatomy and physiology. 

- Who are your favorite people in your life? Why? My favorite person is my younger sister. We're always goofy together and have a ton of fun. 

- What is your favorite kind of food to eat? Sushi

- Who do you consider your biggest influence in your life? My parents. The support they gave and still give me is incredible and I wouldn't be where I am or who I am without them. 

- What sacrifices have you made - or has your family made - so that you could shoot at this level?  I barely had a social life in high school. I'd get invited to hang out with friends but I'd have to decline because I had to train or I had a tournament the next day. I had to decline so often that they wouldn't even bother asking me sometimes because they knew I wouldn't be able to come. I stopped running cross country my junior year to focus more on shooting. I didn't get a job so I'd have more time to shoot. I also didn't have a car because my family spent potential car money to go to tournaments and get new equipment. I didn't have a typical high school life, but I wouldn't have it any other way now. 

- What is the best place you've traveled for archery? My favorite place was Australia. Shooting and seeing kangaroos in the field next to yours was so cool. I honestly loved everything about it there. The stars were especially incredible. They're a lot brighter than I've ever seen here. The food was great, the people were nice, and the scenery was simple and beautiful.