OGDEN -- The conditions were steamy and far from perfect, and the arrows strayed, ever so slightly, in the gusts of wind. Still, nothing was going to stop the Americans.
The U.S. men's recurve team -- made up of Brady Ellison, the No. 1 ranked recurve archer in the world, Jacob Wukie and Jake Kaminski -- beat India in a shoot-off Sunday afternoon to win the gold medal at Lindquist Field on the final day of the Archery World Cup's third stage.
Ranked No. 1 in the world, the U.S. team hopes the win is a harbinger of things to come, as it will be a favorite to take home the team gold in next month's Olympics. Asked about their chances in London, the confidence oozes from Kaminski's mouth.
"Even if we went out there and lost it wouldn't discourage us," Kaminski said after securing the gold. "It is great that we went and won... but it's not what's going to push us in London. We already have that drive."
The U.S. team hasn't taken home gold in the Olympics since 1996 in Atlanta, but aided by the methods of national team head coach KiSik Lee, U.S. archery is on the rise, and the Americans are hoping to eventually reestablish the dominance they had in the 1970's and 80's.
"Could be. Coach Lee's definitely taken the steps to put in a grassroots training that will help develop a really solid foundation for our sport," Kaminski said when asked if another U.S. men's archery dynasty is on the horizon. "That's why Korea is so good -- he studied the Americans in the 70's and 80's, and built their foundation and put in what he called a 'national training system.'"
Still, the U.S. archers are quick to point out they've not yet reached that level and that it will take plenty of effort to get there.
"We are No. 1 in the world right now, but to get to where we dominate I think we still have a lot of work to do," Wukie said. "I mean we're shooting really strong, and we're optimistic looking into London, but we definitely have a lot to improve on."
It wasn't just the men showing promise Sunday for London, though, as the U.S. women's team won their bronze-medal match against Germany. On Thursday, the team earned their spot in the Olympics by winning the qualifying tournament, making it a memorable week for the trio, consisting of Jennifer Nichols, Miranda Leek and Khatuna Lorig.
"It's been an unbelievable week," Lorig said. "I think we are very lucky, but we earned it because we worked so hard. I mean, we trained, we kept it together, and we got the results. We're going to London."
"I think this week was the confidence boost that our team needed," Nichols added. "This is the last international competition that we have before the Olympic games, and this was a great performance. We're feeling more and more confident going into the Olympics."
In the mixed competition, the U.S. added another gold when Ellison and Nichols beat Russia in the final. Nichols later had a chance to win her second gold medal of the day, but fell to Russia's Kristina Timofeeva in the individual final and instead settled for silver.
Other gold medal winners were Mexico's Luis Alvarez in the men's individual event and Russia in the women's team final.