First look at Linda Ochoa-Anderson in new USA Archery uniform
After nearly two decades flying the Mexican flag at internationals, Linda Ochoa-Anderson is officially making her debut as a member of the USA team this week at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.
“It’s weird but, I’m not going to lie, it’s very exciting to wear this uniform,” she said. “I think I wore it a few times at home to get used to it and I like it!”
Linda married US compound archer Steve Anderson a few years ago and moved to Utah. She skipped the 2019 season to take the mandatory 12-month break required for an athlete to change national teams – but her time away from the shooting line was extended when the pandemic cancelled international tournaments in 2020.
“I missed it a lot. I had the advantage of having tournaments in the USA, so I got entertained shooting those events but, for me, there’s nothing like shooting World Cups. It feels good to be back,” she said.
Ochoa-Anderson represented Mexico internationally for 17 years, winning a host of international medals including a silver at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in 2018. She was ranked number two in the world back in 2016 but, after two years absent from the circuit, will have to reclaim her top among the top 10.
Entering Guatemala, she sits 29th in the world rankings.
It was a slow transition between countries for the 34-year-old.
“I was super scared. It’s one of the toughest decisions I have ever made in my sporting career. You grow up with the pride and joy of representing your country and when I realised I was representing another country, it’s kind of weird,” she said.
For a couple of years, Linda was frequently flying back to compete in trials in Mexico, while building her new life in the USA.
“I had times where I didn’t want to compete, maybe because of the pressure, but it just didn’t feel right,” she said. “It was a choice between stopping to shoot World Cups or switching countries. The USA welcomed me with open arms and told me I could do it, so that decided things.”
“As much as it was a huge pride for me to represent Mexico for 17 years, I’m proud to be a USA team member now.”
New season, new shirt – but same Linda. As part of an ultra-competitive line-up that features the current world number one in Alexis Ruiz and the runner-up at the last world championships, Paige Pearce, the latest member of the USA compound women’s roster has her sights set on returning to the podium.
“I would like to win a medal individually but with the team as well,” Linda said. “The challenge is to make the top three here – because there’s four of us [from the USA competing] – and then fight for a medal.”
Competition at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup starts tomorrow with qualification in Guatemala City.