Archery has been around since ancient times. Primarily used as a hunting tool, it evolved into an effective long-range weapon for wars and battles along with sling shots and catapults. This was, of course, prior to the invention of fire arms and gun powder.
With the advent of Olympics and other sports organizations, archery is now an esteemed field in sports. Most archery organizations hold competitions to hail the best compound bow and recurve bow archers. Athletes not only rely in their physical strength but also in their excellent marksmanship and judgment. Truly, this sport is a battle of physique and strategies.
Archery first appeared at the 1900 Olympics in Paris. It consists of 6 archery events with 153 archers competing in them. France emerged as the champion with a total of 12 medals and followed by Belgium with 6 medals.
There were archery events for the next few Olympics, but then it disappeared from the Olympic program for more than 50 years. It reappeared at 1972 Olympics in Munich and continued until to this day.
Modern Olympic archery consists of four medal events: men’s individual, women’s individual, men’s team, and women’s team. In all four events, the distance from the archer to the target is 70 meters and the only allowed type of bow is the recurve bow.
Here are the other Olympic archery facts that will amaze you.
- The archery events in 2004 Olympics in Athens were staged in the same Panathenaic Stadium that was used for the 1896 Olympics. This is the venue for the very first international Olympics held in modern history.
- The best all-time performing Archer at the Olympic Games is Hubert Van Innis of Belgium, who won six gold and 3 bronze medals between 1900 and 1920.
- Korean women archers have won 14 out of 15 gold medals in the women’s events since 1984.
- Galen Carter Spencer, who competed during the 1904 Summer Olympics, is the oldest gold medalist in archery. He was an American who competed and won the gold medal for the team competition. He was born September 19, 1840, and competed on September 19, 1904, which means he competed on his 64th birthday.
- Sybil “Queenie” Newall is a British archer who competed during the 1904 Summer Olympics. She is the oldest woman ever to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual event. She also won gold in the Double National Round in 1908, aged 53 years, 275 days.
- William Dod and Charlotte “Lottie” Dod are the first brother and sister to win Olympic medals. William won the gold medal for men’s archery competition, and his sister Charlotte won the silver medal in the women’s archery competition in the 1908 Summer Olympics.
- This year, the 2016 Summer Olympics was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. South Korea dominated the archery event by winning gold medals in all the archery events.