Geena Davis Proves Why Learning New Hobbies In Your 40s Can Pay Off Big


Geena Davis is one of Hollywood’s most talented actresses, but did you know she has another significant skill? Davis took up archery later in life and ended up almost making the U.S. Olympic team despite her late start. Here’s how she found success in her new hobby at the time.

Why Did Davis Take Up Archery?

Her interest in archery started in 1996, while watching the 1996 Olympic Games. “They had a lot of coverage of archery because America was winning all the gold medals, And I was like, ‘Wow!’” Davis remembered. “It’s very dramatic and beautiful and just thought casually, ‘I wonder if I’d be good at that?’”

Davis was on her high school track team and knew she had some athletic skills due to her work on movies. “I had learned sports for a number of movies: I had to learn how to play baseball, and then I had to learn fencing, Taekwondo, and horseback riding, and ice skating and all kinds of stuff,” she explained. “And I never thought of myself as athletic, but I was actually really good at everything.”

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“And so I thought, ‘I want to take up a sport in the real-life way and not the movie version, because they can fake anything,’” Davis laughed. In 1997, the actress found herself an archery coach and started training. 

From Winning Locals To Olympics Tryouts

“I took it up at 41 and it became my life for a couple of years,” she shared. Davis got so obsessed, she was practicing five hours a day, six days a week. After just six months of training, Davis unsurprisingly won a number of local, national, and international archery tournaments. 

1999 photo of Geena Davis in competitive archery equipment pulling back on a green bow and arrow
U.S. actress Geena Davis prepares to fire as she competes in the U.S. National Archery Association’s Olympic Trials on August 21, 1999 at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield, NJ. Davis qualified 29th out of a field of 32 women. (Matt Campbell/AFP via Getty Images)

Two years after she began practicing archery, Davis competed for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, hoping to take part in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Davis came close but didn’t end up making the team, although she got far closer than most would ever dream of.

Will Davis Master Another Sport?

Even though she didn’t end up at the Olympics, Davis still continues to pick up her bow and arrow “but just for fun,” she said. “I haven’t been competing lately.” Archery isn’t the only sport Davis has taken up later in life. 

While working on the TV show Commander In Chief, the show’s creator suggested Davis take up a sport to do on screen. “And I immediately, for some reason, thought of rowing, that I could be rowing on the Potomac. And he said ‘Great — learn that!’ And it turned out that I was kind of good at it,” Davis laughed. “So I’m wondering how old is too old to get in the Olympics in rowing?” Davis’ dedication to archery and pursuit of excellence in other sports shows that it’s never too late to try something new!



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