How Geena Davis Almost Made The 2000 Olympic Team

Hollywood actors and actresses learn all sorts of new skills and undergo all kinds of strenuous training for roles, from horseback riding to sword fighting, according to Vogue. This might leave some stars a jack-of-all-unusual-trades and master of none. Geena Davis, however, is known for her skill in a sport you might not expect of a Hollywood star  — and it's not for a movie role. Indeed, her expertise in this particular athletic area almost landed the "Beetlejuice" star on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team.

Sports were nothing new for Davis when she chose to explore her budding interest in this Olympic pastime, nor was she afraid to push her own limits in movie parts ranging from a baseball player to action star, as People Magazine explains. The Golden Globe-winning "Thelma & Louise" actress was a track star in high school, where she competed in high jump and hurdles (via IMDb). For previous roles, she'd also learned fencing, TaeKwonDo, and ice skating. It was during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, though, when she became fascinated with one Olympic sport and decided to try it for herself.

Geena Davis is no stranger to challenges

In addition to sports, Geena Davis is not afraid to take personal risks, nor is she afraid to try new things outside of acting. She leads the Geena Davis Institute, which works to improve female representation in Hollywood both on screen and behind the scenes (via The Hollywood Reporter). She's also a member of Mensa International according to People Magazine. The star's extracurricular pursuits are not all academic, either. In the hit TV series "Commander In Chief," Davis played the first female president.

When it was time for her character to choose a sport, Davis chose rowing, just like many actual presidents. As Davis told People Magazine, "I immediately, for some reason, thought of rowing, that I could be rowing on the Potomac ... And it turned out that I was kind of good at it. So I'm wondering how old is too old to get in the Olympics in rowing?" Davis had similar ambitions when another Olympic sport caught her attention.

Geena Davis nearly went to the Olympics in archery

Unrelated to any role she was playing, Geena Davis became fascinated with Olympic-caliber archery when she watched the U.S. archery team compete in the '96 games, where male archer Justin Huish won two gold medals. From there, Davis committed herself to learning the sport at age 41 (Davis is now 65). She found a coach, and following that, archery was her driving passion for a number of years. She even won several local, national, and international tournaments, as People Magazine relates.

All that hard work led Davis to compete for a spot in the U.S. Women's Olympic archery team for the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia. She finished just outside of the top 20, though, and that kept her out of the running. Davis did, however, earn a wild card berth at the Sydney International Golden Arrow competition in '99. These days, Davis still enjoys archery, but just for fun. She's also glad to see an uptick in women pursuing the sport, inspired in part by characters like Katniss Everdeen from the popular young adult novels and movies "The Hunger Games" (per People Magazine).