Olympics: Archer aims to rep AmSam or Samoa
(Las Vegas, NEVADA)— A Las Vegas archer, one of the top in the state of Nevada, is hoping to represent American Samoa or Samoa in the 2016 Olympics Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With his recently purchased Olympic recurve bow, 30-year-old Andrew James Faga is training day in and day out – all the while hoping for a spot on either Samoa’s Olympics squad – whichever team will have him.
“Samoa or American Samoa, it doesn’t make a difference to me,” Faga told tautalatala.com. “I just want to represent my people. I just want to represent Samoa. That’s my dream.”
Called DruJames by his friends, Faga was born and raised in the United States, a native of San Jose, Calif. His last name Faga means “shoot” in the Samoan language. From Indian Springs, Nev., he’s a former football player for the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Running Rebels (2000 to 2005).
Faga graduated from UNLV with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in psychology. He is chief executive officer of Indian Springs Community Services, a company that provides a mentoring and recreational activities program for youth.
His parents are: Mr. Sopemumu T. Faga from Alao, American Samoa and Mrs. Pendora S. Faga from the Mageo family of Pago Pago, American Samoa.
“To be honest with you I was never into archery until…May of 2012 when a very special person to me… allowed me to use an extra compound bow he had lying around. It was a Chronic Redhead by BowTech,” he recalled. “Well, who would’ve known from the first time I picked up that bow, and shot it, that I’d be hooked?”
In June of 2012, good friends, the Egan family to be precise, pitched in to help Faga upgrade his equipment and he garnered enough support to purchase a BowTech ‘Assassin,’ the bestselling bow in the history of US-based acrchery manufacturers BowTech.
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