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  • Many countries including Japan, Holland, Switzerland and Turkey claim connections with archery going back hundreds of years.

  • It became an Olympic sport in 1900, but only until 1908, returned briefly in 1920, but wasn't re-introduced until 1972.

  • There are events for men and women.


  • Archery usually take place outdoors, but there is also an indoor version.

  • The distances for international competition range from 30 to 90 metres. The safety spect is important, so as a clear area of field or an empty sports hall is used.


  • The modern competition bow is a complicated affair with stablizers and sights to aid the archer. At least six arrows are needed.

  • Players wear smart/casual clothes and a protective chest guard. There is also a glove or mitten for the hand on the bow.

  • The arrows are kept in a quiver attached to the competitor by a belt.


  • The target is marked with five coloured circles: yellow at the centre, then red, blue, black and white on the outside. Each band of colour is divided into two circles, so that there are 10 rings, which return a score of 10 in the middle and one on the outside.

  • The current Olympic rules state that the top 32 competitors meet to a head-to-head knock-out competition until one winter is left.

  • World Championship rules demand that a round of 36 arrows should be fired from 90, 70, 50 and 30 metres from the target for men. Women fire from distances of 70, 60, 50 and 30 metres.


  • After archery returned as an Olympic sport in 1972 America dominated, producing two great archers and rivals in Darrell Pace, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1956, who won Olympic gold in 1976 and 1984, and Rick Mckinney, born in Indiana in 1953, who took Pace’s World Championship in 1977, retaining it in 1983 and 1985.


  • Men of the cloth can be renowned sportsmen. In 1904 Reverend Galen Spencer became the oldest archery gold medallist, aged 64.

  • Lottie Dod was a British sporting phenomenon. She was not only considered the best woman archer in the country, but she also won the Wimbledon women’s singles title five times, played hockey for England and was a champion golfer!

  • At the Antwerp Olympics the archery competition was made up of individual and team events for women, given the remarkable titles of ‘Little Bird’, “Big Bird’ and ‘Moving Bird’!

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