Steven Gatto is not the average student at West Virginia University.
He does some average things: he lives in Pierpont Hall, he goes to classes and he cheers for Mountaineer sports teams.
But, this junior from southern New Jersey has a talent that is unmatched by anyone else in Morgantown. In fact, Gatto can say his talent is unmatched wherever he goes, because he is a world champion archer.
From Sept. 23 to Sept. 26, Gatto will try for another world title at the Eighth World University Archery Championship in Shenzhen, China.
Emblazoned on his quiver – which holds his arrows – are the words “can’t wait.” The phrase is one that Gatto, a sports management major, says most often defines his feelings.
“It doesn’t matter what it’s about: can’t wait to go to the game, can’t wait to make some money at work, can’t wait to go shooting, it’s just how my friends and I describe how we feel,” he said.
Because of his father’s interest in hunting, Gatto got his first bow when he was 6 years old and has been shooting competitively since he was 15. As he got older he saw his skills increase to the point where he felt he could try out for Team USA.
In 2007, Gatto won the U.S. Open.
Initially Gatto attended Atlantic Cape Community College, near his hometown, in order to compete on their archery team. But, after he completed the two-year program, he enrolled in WVU.
Attending WVU came at a cost. WVU has no archery team. But, that hasn’t stopped Gatto.
The greatest achievement Gatto has made so far in archery came after his first semester at WVU. During the summer of 2010, in Belgrade Serbia, Gatto dominated the World University Games.
He won the silver medal for mixed team, the gold in men’s team and he earned the title of “world champion.” But, Gatto said the best part of the experience was who was in the stands for his victory.
“My family traveled to watch me compete. It was pretty awesome to actually win while they were there,” he said.
While in Morgantown, Gatto is studying hard to prepare himself to be as successful in life after college as he has been in archery.
“I hope to work for a major sports franchise somewhere down the road,” he said.
And, he still has goals in archery.
“I just want to keep representing my country and WVU in national and international events,” Gatto said.
He can’t wait.
By Joey Machak
WVU University Relations – News
CONTACT: WVU University Relations- News
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