Sport Spotlight: Archery

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Sport Spotlight: Archery

Three bows in the bullseye.

Three bows in the bullseye.

Three bows in the bullseye.

Three bows in the bullseye.

Emery Jovel, Features Editor

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You grab a bow and arrow and stand there in front of your target. You get your bow ready and you breathe in, breathe out. You keep your eyes on the target in front of you. Then, without thinking twice, you shoot. Archery is now a favored sport that many people enjoy. In fact, archery has gotten very popular, we see it in movies such as The Hunger Games or Robin Hood. Now, there are athletes all around the world known as archers.

Archery is one of the oldest arts practices since the earliest evidence that has been uncovered dates back to the Paleolithic Period, around 10,000 BC. It started in Africa where the Egyptians and Nubians used bow and arrows for the purposes of warfare and hunting. But in a later time period, archery spread from Africa to India, Australia, Asia, and Europe. It became known in China, which archery dates back to the Zhou Dynasty, 1,766 – 1,027 BC. During this time period, nobles would attend sport archery tournaments. Later, the Chinese introduced archery to the Japanese.

In England, archery began to spring in the 17th century, where the Royal Toxophilite Society founded in 1790 to help discipline the sport. It was later patronized by King George IV. It then first appeared in modern Olympics in 1900. And it was seen more frequently as the progressed, but it stopped appearing and didn’t show up until 1972. As archery reached this time, the popularity for the sport had grown massively.

Throughout the twentieth century, many divisions in archery began to spring. Some include the FITA (International Archery Federation) formed in 1931 and the IFAA (International Field Archery Association) which formed in 1966. Nowadays, there are many athletes who have created a name for themselves in the archery sport.

Brady Ellison at Rio, 2016.

The man considered as the best archer in the world is Brady Ellison. Brady Ellison was born on October 27, 1988 and grew up in his hometown of Globe, Arizona. As a child, he suffered Perthes disease which brought him to wear leg braces for about a year. After receiving his first compound bow at the age of seven, he killed a bear while hunting at the age of eleven. He holds the record for the longest period as the world number one ranked men’s recurve archer form August 2011 through April 2013. He received the nickname “The Prospector” during the 2015 world championships. Currently, many people look up at him in admiration for his hard work and dedication to get to where he is today.

When asked if she likes watching archery, 7th grader America Juarez stated, “I like archery because its an underrated sport, but no one pays attention to it and because its interesting to watch.” So as archery turned into the sport that we all know today, many people have found it entertaining and interesting to watch and to be involved in.

Archery also has calming effects. It helps clear the mind of a person and it improves focus. This is because when a person is doing archery, one must be accurate. Which is what archery is all about; accuracy. The atmosphere for archers is calm and spiritual, which results with the archer feeling a sense of meditation with every shot.

To conclude, the evolution of archery grew to become a more competitive sport than for hunting purposes. It has become a unique sport that kids, adolescents, and even adults enjoy participating in.