To reach the semi-finals, Norbert first defeated Shinichi Saito of Japan and Peter Kinik of Slovakia. In the semi-final he faced Jeff Fabry of the United States, the eventual Gold Medalist. After Norbert lost 3-7 he moved into the Bronze medal match to face Osmo Kinnunen of Finland. Norbert shot extremely well tieing only a single end to take home the bronze medal.
Jeff Fabry of the United States went on to capture the Gold defeating David Drahoninsky of Czech Republic in the Finals 6-2.
Wednesday will mark with start of the 2012 Paralympic Summer Games in London England. The Paralympics are the second largest sporting event in the world, second only to the Olympics. The Paralympic Games are linked directly to the Olympics. They follow the same schedule running every two years and alternating between summer and winter, and since Seoul 1988 (Summer Games) and Albertville 1992 (Winter Games) the games have taken place on the same venues following the Olympic Games.
The paralympic games were the dream of Dr. Guttmann, a German born British neurologist interested in helping world War II veterans with spinal injuries. Dr. Guttmann was an archer and setup an archery demonstration between two teams of paraplegics that coincided with the 1948 London Olympics.
His dream was of a worldwide sports competition for people with disabilities to be held every four years as “the equivalent of the Olympic Games.” Twelve years later, his dream became a reality.
The first official Paralympic Games were held in Rome, Italy, in 1960 and involved 400 athletes from 23 countries. Originally, only wheelchair athletes were invited to compete. Since that time, the Paralympic Games have grown dramatically. The present-day Paralympic Games include five major classifications of athletes: persons with visual impairments, persons with physical disabilities, amputee athletes, people with cerebral palsy, people with spinal cord injuries and Les Autres – athletes with a physical disability that are not included in the categories mentioned above (e.g., people with Muscular Dystrophy). History of the Paralympics Games
Canada is internationally renowned as a leader of the Paralympic movement and has participated in every Summer and Winter Paralympic Games since Tel Aviv, Israel in 1968. Canada has sent an archery team to every Paralympic games since 1968 with only one exception being the 2004 games in Athens.
My coach Kathy Millar of South Nation Archery was interviewed last Friday by CTV Morning Live to discuss Paralympic Archery ahead of the Paralympic Summer Games. She explains Paralympic archery and how Paralympic archers use different muscle sets when competing depending on the disability or limitation of the archer. You can check out the entire interview here.
For these games Canada is sending a team of 5 archers including Kevin EVANS (Jaffray, BC), Bob HUDSON (Leoville, SK), Karen VAN NEST (Wiarton, ON), Lyne TREMBLAY (Magog, QC), Norbert MURPHY (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC), and Rob COX (Winnipeg, MB). Good luck to all the athletes and GO CANADA GO!
Canada’s wait for it’s first Olympic medal will unfortunately be extended four more years. Both Crispin Duenas of Ontario and Marie-Pier Beaudet of Quebec were eliminated in their opening match in London.
Crispin Duenas : http://www.tsn.ca/story/?id=402049
Marie-Pier Beaudet : http://www.tsn.ca/story/?id=401855
Nonetheless, I am very proud of them. While watching these games, I can empathize with the pressure that they are experiencing. After participating in the World Championship in Las Vegas this past winter, I have a new appreciation of the pressure that is cast-upon athletes at these competitions.
At large competitions like the Olympics and World Championships they try to make archery more viewer friendly for the spectators through the addition of commentators. This can be very nerve racking for the archers as they announce each shot and various competitors’ scores, sometimes right at the very moment of your release. In my team bronze medal match, the commentators were already declaring victory for the other team before we had finished shooting. It is almost impossible to block it out, at this level it is about who can manage their nerves and the pressure since they are all excellent shooters.
I have also read comments of news stories, blogs and twitter asking “Why is archery an Olympic sport?”. For those people, I challenge you to pull 50 pounds, hold for 7 seconds with enough calm composure to hit an apple 70 meters away, adjusting on the fly for all the elements. Now repeat 72 times, consistently. It takes strength, endurance, and composure, just like any other sport.
All of these archers are amazing athletes and deserve to represent their respective countries at these games. For Canada, eighth and twenty-ninth in the world are awesome!
Congratulations, Team Canada on a job well done.
On Friday, London, England will host the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games. Over the years, there have been some awesome opening ceremonies including the last Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. For me, last year’s ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia was amazing and has a special place in the heart of every Canadian. However, recently I watched the 1992 Barcelona Olympic opening on YouTube, and I think I have found a new favourite, as should every archer.
Check it out the entire 1992 opening ceremonies in HD.
Good luck to all athletes and a special cheer to both Crispin Duenas of Ontario and Marie-Pier Beaudet of Quebec as they compete in archery and attempt to bring home the first Olympic archery medal in Canadian history. All of Canada is pulling for you.
GO CANADA GO.
One misconception about archery training is you need to do a lot of heavy weight training to reach the next level, and this is simply not true. In fact, heavy weight training can actually hinder you archery career. If you develop very large biceps it can hamper your form since you may have problem creating straight lines from the arrow through your anchor point and the back of your elbow. Since long, lean, strong muscles are preferred over large muscle mass, it is important to do exercises with less weight and more repetitions rather than heavier weights.
For younger archers, that are still growing, you do not want to hurt yourself or get ahead of your natural body development. Any type of weight training before your body is ready to accept it can do more damage than good long term.
Below are a couple of simple exercises to help increase you upper body strength for archery.
Open Door Push-outs
Anyone can develop some muscle and endurance without heavy weights, by using your body weight. Open Door Push-outs are a safe and easy way to train your back shoulder muscles for archery.
- Using an open doorway, standing with your feet flat on the floor and slightly less than arm-length away, place your hands on either side of the door frame
- In a very controlled manner, lean towards the door, similar to a push-up
- Once your arms are at least 90 degrees, push yourself back out again.
- Repeat several times.
Once you have mastered the above without any problems, you can vary it by standing further back or doing deeper push-ups.
Since it is almost impossible to be completely still for any amount of time, it is important to develop a fine controlled approach with shooting. One simple training exercise that will help develop a strong and controlled bow arm is the simple ball exercise.
- Standing perpendicular to a wall and using a volley or soccer ball
- Hold ball at shoulder height at arm length against the wall with a flat hand.
- Using only your arm move the ball in a figure eight motion
- Set a timer for 30 seconds.
- Turn around and repeat with the other arm
Once you have mastered the above without any difficulties, you can increase the time by 30 second intervals to help build control.
Although, these exercises should be safe for just about everyone, it is important, especially for young archers, to consult a qualified archery coach before you add any type of training to their regular program.
This past weekend, I took the next step to my goal of a national level coach by attending the Intermediate Archery Coach Certification course held at the Archers of Caledon. This two-day course builds on the foundation established in the Beginner Archery Coach Certification course. The intermediate course digs deeper into the technical requirements for more accomplished and competitive archers, covering finer details of form and detailed tuning techniques for both recurve and compound bows. Similar to the beginner course, it entails in class education as well as workshops and presentations. It also included group work and video for detailed analysis for form issues and fine-tuning.
A couple of months earlier, I completed course requirements and was Certified as Beginner Archery Coach. After completing this two-day National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) course, I am now a Trained Intermediate Archery Coach and now have a couple of steps to complete for certification including my intermediate workbook, developing a training plan for an immediate archer and having my training facility inspected.
If you are interested in becoming a coach, and getting more involved in archery, you can contact your local archery association. In Ontario, contact the Ontario Association of Archers.
The human body is made up of 90% water and represents approximately 50% of your total body weight. This percentage can be even higher in athletes as they have less fat and more muscle tissue, so while exercising it is EXTREMELY important to maintain your hydration.
Have you ever felt thirsty while shooting? Thirst is the carving of fluids by your body and it is your basic instinct to increase intake to fluid balance.
If you only drink fluids to quench your thirst while exercising, you will leave your body short on fluids and in poor physical state that will result in a lower performance. You should be continually drinking water or other fluids to replenish your body fluids. Athletes also need to replenish electrolytes (or salts) in there system while performing and they play a key role in the performance.
Not being properly hydrated or lacking electrolytes can lead to muscle cramps or dehydration, neither of which an athlete wants while in competition. You should always be drinking something, especially during competitions, excessive exercise or outside on hot days as these all lead to perspiration and loss of fluids and electrolytes.
Choosing the right fluids is also important, drinking sugar drinks such as soda pop can cause your sugar levels to spike and then crash, this can harm your body during performance. If you need to maintain sugar levels choose drinks with natural sugars such as apple or orange juice as your body can more easily process and use the sugars.
Remember, if you are thirsty; drink something, your body is talking to you.
Last weekend I attended the Beginner Archery Coach Certification course in Toronto, held at the Ontario Centre for Classical Sport. This two-day course provides the foundation for persons who want to develop the necessary skills for training beginner level archers. It covers how to create and manage a sports program while working with entry-level archers. The course entails both in class education as well as workshops and presentations that cover instructing basic archery skills including giving constructive feedback, properly selecting and maintaining archery equipment while instilling safety and range etiquette.
The course also covered setting up a class and developing practice plans however it also dives deeper into training and motivating your athletes, how to analyse their form, both basic skills and long-term athlete development, including athletes with disabilities and dealing with delicate and emergency response situations.
After completing the two-day National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) course you are a Trained Beginner Archery Coach and you have a couple of steps to complete to become certified. You need to teach an archery class and have three students, two coaches complete a survey on your performance and create an emergency action plan which includes a practice plan.
Once complete you are a Certified Beginner Archery Coach, receive your official certificate and are able to begin training entry-level archers. If you are interested in becoming a coach and getting more involved in archery you can contact your local archery association. In Ontario, contact the Ontario Association of Archers.
This week I received my official Cartel Doosung training gear. Although I have been sponsored by Cartel Doosung for almost a year now, receiving official team gear makes me really feel like an official team member. It is an honour to be sponsored alongside Cartel Doosung’s other amazing archers; the Doosung Compound Team who recently competed in the first Asian Archery Grand Prix in Bangkok, Thailand. The Doosung Compound Team finished fourth in the ranking round and went on to captured the bronze medal narrowly defeating host country Thailand. Congratulations to my fellow team members.
Being part of the successful team inspires you to strive higher and work harder and share in their triumphs and successes. However, all athletes need to be cautious about trying too hard to prove their worth, you have to be careful not to over-strive or work beyond your capabilities. Young athletes need to remember to stick to the training program as outlined by their coaches otherwise they can suffer minor setbacks or even worse suffer a long term injury.
“Life doesn’t require that we be the best, only that we try our best.” – H. Jackson Brown