Chrissie Lyons, 47, only discovered archery in 2019, but she is breaking records and winning medals in national and international competitions and teaching her skills to others.
The New Lenox resident recently represented the United States in barebow archery at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama. Lyons won a silver medal, but his victory was more important than the medal.
“She was the first American woman barebow to medal at the World Games,” said Jeff Sanchez, owner of BowDoc in Mokena and Lyons coach.
For Lyon, it’s like winning the same thing at the Olympics, since the Olympics don’t offer a barebow competition. And she wants to be on top.
“I want more people to have the same experiences as me,” Lyons said. “If I can help others, it’s worth it to me.”
Lyons is also competing for Team USA at the 2022 World Field Championships in October in Yankton, South Dakota, and the 2022 Pan Am Championships in November in Santiago, Chile.
She is fundraising through GoFundMe to continue competing.
Lyons teaches archery in the park districts of New Lenox, Frankfort and Mokena through BowDoc Archery in Mokena. She said she also gave private archery lessons and had also been approached by students at home for lessons.
According to Lyons’ GoFundMe page, she has won two world records, four national records, state-level records, seven national championship titles and has more than 20 national-level podiums in indoor archery. , outdoors and in the countryside.
Lyons became a USA Archery certified coach in 2021, Sanchez said.
A barebow “anomaly”
New Lenox Mayor Tim Badermann said Lyons would be honored for her accomplishments at the New Lenox Village Board meeting on Monday.
“We’re honored that she did so well,” Baldermann said. “We want to recognize his efforts and his success. I’m sure she will be a great inspiration to young athletes.
Sanchez said he had been shooting for 45 years, coaching for 30 and owning BowDoc for 15 years, including six years at his Mokena site – and had never met anyone. ‘one like Lyons.
“It’s most definitely an anomaly in terms of how much and how quickly it grew,” Sanchez said. “Chrissie works harder than anyone I’ve ever had. So, while she was pretty quick to success, it’s certainly no coincidence because of how hard she works at it.
Sanchez said it would take another archer 20-30 years to achieve “a fraction” of Lyon’s feats. He said many people got excited after the first lesson and promised to come back. Most don’t, but Lyon did.
“Of course, she was here almost every day, training and taking lessons,” Sanchez said.
Determined to compete
Lyons said she first tried barebow archery in April 2019, after someone gave her daughter a bow and Lyons scheduled a lesson for her daughter at BowDoc. Lyons also decided to take a course and immediately knew she wanted to dedicate her life to it.
But then Lyons broke his leg on September 11, 2019, and needed a rod and several screws inserted. Lyons said she was devastated. Her archery career had ended before she even competed.
Lyon was wrong. Others helped her carry her bag and shoot her arrows so she could continue training, Lyons said.
“I was competing with a broken leg [during] the first season of indoor competition,” Lyons said in a written statement. “I spent six months relearning how to walk properly and still had problems walking, so I had additional surgery to remove some of my screws a month before my first outdoor National Championship title and my first world record in August 2020.”
Because Lyons is self-funded and does not yet have a sponsor, it raises funds through GoFundMe.
Lyons said it costs at least $10,000 to $15,000 a year to compete, which isn’t viable for her without sponsorships.
A role model for foster children
Lyons isn’t just competing for herself. She enters the competition because she wants to raise awareness of barebow archery as a viable sport for women.
She also wants to pass on this message to foster children: your past does not define your future. You define your future.
These are not empty words.
Lyons is a product of the foster care system. She was just 6 when she and several siblings were removed from their home due to severe abuse, she said.
Lyons said she then lived at Lydia Home in Chicago, until her biological father died when she was 10 and an aunt and uncle became her adoptive parents. She hopes her story will inspire and encourage others to find their own passions.
“We can’t control where we come from,” Lyons said. “But, we can control where our path takes us in the future to learn, grow and overcome adversity.”
For more information, visit bowdoc.com and worldarchery.sport/profile/33182/christina-lyons.
To donate, visit “Help Chrissie Lyons Represent USA Women’s Barebow” at gofund.me/de08c5a4.