Jack Williams eyes the bull’s-eye


Wendy Williams

Olympic hopeful Jack Williams steadies his hands for a precise shot at the archery range, hoping to advance his archery career.

Like a speeding arrow, former Woodbridge High student Jack Williams has launched out of high school and into the Olympic Athlete Training Center. At only 16 years old, Jack Williams has been officially chosen to be a United States Olympic Committee sponsored athlete, emerging as the youngest resident athlete at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

Jack Williams started archery only four years ago and has had a passion for it since the beginning. Jack Williams realized his passion for archery after his fencing coach introduced him to the sport. The same year, he chose to attend the USA Archery Nationals instead of the USA Fencing Nationals when he realized his preference for archery over fencing. He left Woodbridge in November 2016 to audition for a spot on the Committee of Sponsored Athletes. Jack Williams was advised by the US Archery National head coach to try out for the sponsored Olympic Athlete residency. According to Jack Williams, finding out that he made it was the best moment of his life so far.

“Hard work really does pay off,” Jack Williams said. “And if you really want something you have to go all in.”
Since leaving Woodbridge, Jack Williams’ life has changed drastically. He has had to leave his family to live full time at the Olympic Training Center, and he is enrolled in a private online school that is designed to help meet the needs of elite athletes and accommodate to their busy schedules.

“Jack trains eight hours a day in hopes to bring home medals for the USA,” Jack’s mother, Wendy Williams, said.

Jack Williams is currently an ‘Olympic Hopeful’, meaning that he has not competed in the Olympics as of now. However, Williams has plans to compete in the 2020 Olympic Games, which will be hosted in Tokyo, Japan. If he does compete, he will then be considered an Olympic athlete, and if he does receive a medal, he will be deemed an Olympic Medalist.

“Jack was my student as a cello player for two-and-a-half years. {Jack} is able to succeed because he can step back and assess things and be graceful under pressure,” Performing Arts instructor Brad Harris said.

Jack Williams’ official title at the training center is a United States Committee sponsored athlete. One of the perks of being a sponsored athlete is the food, housing, travel and medical expenses, courtesy of the US Olympic Committee. In order to be part of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, he will need to qualify for the three man team, which is where teams of three archers from each country participate in the competition. Jack Williams will start to audition in the 2019 Olympic Qualifier. Results about his chance to compete at the August 2020 Olympics will be announced at the beginning of 2019. Regardless of the outcome, he will be “very grateful and happy either way.”

“What I enjoy most about training for the Olympics is that every day I get to do something I love,” Jack Williams said.