Brianna Laux: An Athlete, An Archer, A Survivor

By: Tabitha Bacus

As the 2019 State Games of America (SGA) approaches, archer Brianna Laux is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to go to Lynchburg, Virginia to compete in the sport that she loves. When Brianna began shooting archery 11 years ago, she had no idea that she would grow to become one of the top 10 female archers in the country with the opportunity to tryout for the 2020 USA Olympic team. All of her dreams seemed to be falling into place until two years ago when those archery dreams had to be put on pause.

Photo by USA Archery

Photo by USA Archery

Brianna was playing a basketball game two years ago when she received an elbow to her temple hard enough to give her a concussion. While she was getting a head scan, it was discovered that she had a brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which can be life threatening if left unchecked. Brianna needed brain surgery. She spent two weeks in the hospital recovering from her surgery and asking her doctors when she could go back to shooting. 

“The concussion was a blessing in disguise. It saved my life.”

Because of the medical expenses from her surgery, Brianna’s family had to become quite selective about which tournaments she should compete in. Her mother mentioned that they had ruled out the State Games of America because of a USA Archery tournament in California in June. When they were notified that Brianna had been chosen for the SGA scholarship, it opened the door for her to compete in Virginia. SGA is giving Brianna the opportunity to shoot at four distances which she is very excited about because that isn’t common in most archery tournaments.

Photo by Lancaster Archery

Photo by Lancaster Archery

Brianna got involved with the Meijer State Games of Michigan about six years ago. It was one of the first archery tournaments that she competed in. She was drawn to the organization of the tournament and the sense of community that it promoted.  

You get a lot of different skill sets in the same spot. The more experienced archers are always willing to help with equipment or advice. It has a great community and that’s why I love it.

One thing Brianna would like to see is more archers getting involved in competitions in Michigan. Her wish is that there will come a day when archery in the state has a wider range of people who push each other to do better. The archery tournaments that she attends in Michigan often have the same few contenders. Always competing against the same archers can become monotonous. Brianna is looking forward to meeting new archers from around the country when she competes at SGA.

Photo by USA Archery

Photo by USA Archery

Although she won’t be attending the Meijer State Games of Michigan archery tournament this year due to a national tournament, Brianna wanted to offer some words of encouragement to any one who may want to take part in the tournament: 

The State Games is just a really good idea. It’s a great first tournament if you’re looking to be involved in archery competitively in any way.

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