Archery is a sport involving competitors shooting arrows at a target. There is evidence dating back well over 10,000 years of humans using bows to shoot arrows, although it wasn’t until the 18th century that it began to be seen as a competitive sport rather than as a means of combat. How many of these interesting & fun archery facts did you know?
- The popularity of archery as a competitive sport can be traced back to Britain in the 18th century: The sport was one of the few where women were openly welcome to participate at the time, and it was a sport enjoyed across the full range of social classes.
- One of the early pioneers of competitive archery was a fellow named Horace A. Ford: Ford clearly had a natural talent for the sport – only 4 years after he first tried shooting an arrow, he would claim his first title as Britain’s best archer. He would go on to win 11 championships in a row.
- Despite reaching an immense level of popularity, archery would lose some appeal towards the end of the 19th century: The number of archery clubs in Britain had dropped from hundreds to just 50 by this time. However, archery was still contested at the 1900 Olympic Games.
- The World Archery Federation was founded in 1931, with 7 inaugural members, including France, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Poland, the United States, Hungary, and Italy: Since then it has grown its membership to over 156 nations.
- While archery is typically a safe sport, there are some incidents that have taken place where archers or spectators were tragically injured through accidents: One such accident took place in 2012 when British archer Douglas Mitchell was fatally injured while making adjustments to his bow.
- Since 2006, the world’s top archers have competed in an annual event known as the Archery World Cup: There are events for solo male and female archers, and also a team event. Since the competition started, it has been dominated by the United States (96 golds) and South Korea (75 golds).
- In terms of individual archery success, perhaps the world’s most talented archer based on World Cup performance is South Korean female archer Yun Ok-hee: She has won a total of 16 medals in Archery World Cup events, 8 of them gold.
- As mentioned earlier, archery was first contested at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris: Since that time it has been a part of most Summer Games since, for a total of 16 events. South Korea has dominated the Olympic archery contests in recent years, winning 23 out of the 34 gold medals on offer since 1984.
Fun Archery Facts:
- Perhaps the greatest male archer currently active is South Korean Kim Woo-jin: He set a record during the 2016 Olympics with a score of 700 out of a possible 720, breaking the record of 699 set at the previous Olympics.
- A remarkable world record was set in 2015 when an archer fired a shot accurately over 280 metres: What makes this record so amazing is that it was set by Matt Stutzman, who is an American Paralympic athlete. Stutzman has no arms, and instead uses a technique involving his legs to draw the arrow.
Featured Image Source: https://worldarchery.org/news/143721/top-10-pictures-2016-olympics