Spencer Yee hasn't even spent a day in the hallways of his local middle school, but he's already an international champion. If he were four years older, he might even be a favorite to qualify for the Olympics.
As reported by Phoenix network KTVK, the 10-year-old Yee recently earned gold at the 2012 Pan American Games. According to the TV report, Yee won a whopping six medals in total at the Pan American Games in El Salvador, though the medals beyond his Compound Cadet classification victory were not specified. Incredibly, Yee pulled off those feats while competing against athletes some seven years his senior.
While Yee currently competes using a compound bow, he told KTVK that he would readily switch to a traditional recurve bow, which he would have to use in the Olympics. That may be the next step in Yee's development, which has been overseen by Paralympian archer Eric Bennett, who trains the 10-year-old four times per week.
Incredibly, despite his young age, Yee's father, Steve Yee, said he already routinely outshoots Bennett, who was the 2008 Paralympic national champion and will compete in the 2012 London Paralympics. He also competed in Beijing in 2008.
For Steve Yee, the trick going forward will be keeping his son's success and immense talent in perspective. Spencer Yee has years to come in his development in both archery and life, while Steve said he has already been overcome with emotion seeing his son on the medal stand.
"Nothing beats the feeling that you get when you actually see your child … stars and stripes in the background … and seeing him on the podium for the very first time," Steve Yee told KTVK. "It's humbling. It's emotional."
Given the younger Yee's stunning achievements and age, his father should probably get used to watching his son on the platform. There will probably be plenty more occasions just like that to come in the years ahead.
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