The Olympic Archery competition includes both Team and Individual events for men and women.

In the 14th century, archery was considered so important to the defence of the nation that an English law made it compulsory for every man aged between seven and 60.
At the Athens 2004 Games, archers competed in the Panathinaiko Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896. The Stadium was built in on the ruins of an ancient stadium built in 329 BC.
The coverage of the Atlanta 1996 Games won the ‘Golden Rings Award’ from the IOC for the best Olympic sports coverage.
Hollywood actress Geena Davis took part in US trials for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Archery team.
The first known Archery competition was organised in Finsbury, London, in 1583. It attracted 3,000 participants.

Key facts

Venue: Lord’s Cricket Ground
Dates: Friday 27 July – Friday 3 August
Gold medals up for grabs: 4
Athletes: 128

Archery: a history of the sport

Archery developed as a sport in medieval England, when tournaments were held to encourage the military art of the archer in peacetime.

Today’s bows are made from special aluminium alloy and laminated carbon materials. They are designed to shoot aluminium and carbon graphite arrows at speeds of more than 150 miles per hour.

For more information on the history of the sport, visit the IOC website.

Archery at the Games

Archery made its debut in the 1900s as one of the only sports open to women. It was dropped from the Olympic programme in 1920, but returned at the Munich 1972 Games.

The Team competition was introduced at the Seoul 1988 Games.

How the competition runs

Points are scored by hitting a target  consisting of five coloured rings. The closer the arrow lands to the centre of the target, the higher the score achieved.

At the Olympic Games, the targets are 122 centimetres in diameter. Archers shoot their arrows from a distance of 70 metres.
Archers, 64 men and 64 women, compete head-to-head (similar to tennis) through a series of knock-out ‘elimination’ rounds until only the medallists remain.

Jargon buster

  • Boss: The name for an Archery target.
  • Nock: Used to place an arrow on a bow string.
  • Robin Hood: Describes a shot that splits the shaft of an arrow already in the target.
  • Spotter: An official scorer who uses a telescope to identify the arrow’s exact position.
  • Bowman: An archer.

~ by superbowlnyc on January 30, 2011.

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