Las Vegas archer aims to rep American Samoa – or Samoa – in 2016 Olympics

Photo Credit: 
Ralph Willits
James Andrew Faga and his BowTech 'Assassin'.

For core training, Faga works out 4 to 5 times a week at 24-Hour Fitness, a commercial gym franchise with branches all over the country. He recently added Yoga to his training regimen, “to help with my breathing and self-control when I’m behind my bow,” he explained.

“Archery is not a physical sport to me, but a very mental sport which can cause fatigue at times,” said Faga. “Being a great archer does not come easy. It takes hard work and dedication and also strong mental control.”

Asked why he wants to represent Samoa or American Samoa, Faga says he wishes to promote archery among the Samoan youth who are more often urged to compete in contact sports such as football, rugby, boxing or MMA. He wants to bring awareness to archery and break the mold.

“As a young Samoan male, we’re brought up and encouraged to seek football, rugby, boxing or MMA. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with it and I’ve played football and trained in boxing but I’m ready for a new sport. To be honest, a less physical sport on my body,” he laughs. “I want to break the mold. Archery is a wonderful sport and a very competitive sport at that. Not anybody can just pick up a bow and be a great shooter. I was born in the USA, but I am very proud to be Samoan and would love nothing more than to represent my country in the 2016 Olympics.”

Faga says “you don’t find too many Samoan archers or hardly ever hear of any…so it’s hard for people to be interested in sponsoring an archer.”
“I’ve found one sponsor who is a great friend of mine,” Faga said. “He believes in me and was willing to assist me in securing my first competition recurve bow. Tautua Reed knows and understands my passion for this sport and I can’t thank him enough for allowing me to achieve in this particular endeavor of mine.”

Reed owns T. Reed Enterprise which manages world renowned song group Common Kings.

“I’m still searching for sponsors and would love to obtain the proper coaching in this sport to really put my mark in this world of archery,” Faga told tautalatala.com. “The sky is the limit, and with the proper resources, I feel I can compete with the best shooters in the world. I’m not out here to carry a flag in the opening ceremony with a smile on my face. I’m here to compete and win a medal. I have a lot of work to do, but I’m willing to do it, plus more. It’s a competitive sport and I’m a competitive person.”

With his dream in mind, Faga believes his “strong work ethic and determination will all pay off in the end.”

“When I have a vision and a dream, I capture it,” he said.

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