Canada’s wait continues

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.

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Hunger Games great for Archery

Anytime a movie features an archer the archery business gets a good shot in the arm, however with the success of a blockbuster like The Hunger Games, and with less than 100 days until the Olympic Games, I believe it is a great time for archery coaches and businesses everywhere. Many businesses are already reporting increases in business since the movie opened. I personally have witnessed a significant jump in the interest in archery recently when I had 10 new people show up to join my school archery club at our last meeting.

The Hunger Games is about a game show where young people between 12-18 years old are pitted into a life-or-death situation. Twenty-four Tributes, as they are called in the game, one male and one female from each of the 12 districts in a post-apocalyptic future to fight each and the elements until there is a single victor. The movie is based on the first book on the young adult trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. With the popularity of the film, which has grossed over $350 million worldwide so far, Loinsgate has already announced it has plans for a sequel based on the second book “Catching Fire” and it will be directed by Francis Lawrence.

The movie centers on Katniss Everdeen, played by actress Jennifer Lawrence (no relationship to Francis), who uses her hunting archery skills to survive. Jennifer developed her archery skills in preparation for the role under her mentor Khatuna Lorig. Khatuna, originally from Georgia and a naturalized American, is a five-time Olympian and earned a bronze medal as part of the women’s team at the 1992 Olympics.  With the movie having a strong female heroine, I am sure the interest of young women all over the world will reach new heights.

If you have not had an opportunity to see the movie yet, I highly recommend it and afterwards contact you local archery club to try archery for yourself.