Archery made its debut in the Olympics back in 1900. It was contested again later in 1904, 1908, 1920 and came back into the list in 1972, after its absence for 52 years. Ever since then, Archery has been one of the crucial sports in almost every sporting event. Not only its presence but also Participants competing against each other targeting the bullseye was a delight to the viewers. And that gave Archery a huge exposure, enabling people to take it up as a Career. There have been few criteria implemented for the ones beginning to enter this field. One of them is Age of the person. Let’s see what it’s all about.
The Age limit for Archery
Age seems to be the most common topic in the circles of Archery. Although many may have a belief that it depends on which age they start training their kids, that’s not what it’s meant to be. There are many Archery tournament organizers today, but for this instance, let’s consider the Olympics.
The age limit for each sport in the Olympics is set by their respective Sport’s International Federation. World Archery is the Organisation for Archery.
The minimum Age limit set by the World Archery Organisation for Olympics is 16 yrs. But there’s no upper limit for a Person becoming an Archer. It doesn’t matter how old an Archer can be and can still Compete. Not all sports have the same scene. For example, let’s consider FIFA. The upper limit set by the federation is 23 years.
But for Archery, all that matters is your power to draw back the string and consistently shoot the arrow to the target, despite the Age.
Does it mean that a person, aging 63 years old, can enter into the field of Archery? Well, Yes. He can make his way in here. But one should be aware of the fact that being an Archer requires different things from one, including aerobic endurance, good muscular strength, flexibility, and most importantly, good Eyesight. Having all these features in a 63 years old man would be much rare, especially a good Eyesight. But to be, sure enough, he can enter Archery despite the old Age.
Archers Older than the Average Ones
When it comes to Archery, a person can compete at any age, especially for the most prestigious event of the Olympics. Let’s take a look at the achievements of some Olympians who have done well for their Age.
- Butch Johnson (5 times Olympian)
Starting to practice Archery in 15, he made his name quite popular with his Competition Success. He made his own Olympic team and won the Team Gold in Men’s Archery in 1996 when he was about 41 years old. Also, at 45, won the Team Bronze in 2000. Even at 53, he made his team in 2008, but having no luck! It didn’t stop there as he still continued to compete and make a team for the 2012 Olympics. Even in it, his team Qualified for the Olympics trials. But unfortunately, getting finished up in the 6th position in the Trials. In total, he completed 5 times in a streak in Every Summer Olympics Even (1992-2008).
Seeing someone competing and getting success without the age bothering him must be enough to prove the above topics.
- Women’s Archery Medalists (1972 Olympics)
Before the 1988 Olympics, Archery did not have any team events, meaning a Pure Solo Competition. Not only Men, but Women too left their marks in this field, proving Age to be just a Number.
Gold Medalist in the above was Doreen Wilbur from the U.S, aging 42 years old. Silver medalist was Irena Szydtowska from Poland, aging 44. And lastly, the Bronze Medalist Emma Gapchenko from the Soviet Union, age 34.
These Women had to beat up the Younger Competitors for winning the medals.
These were only the few I had knowledge about. There are still numerous examples set by the Legends, enough to make one realize that Age is just a number and that it’s never too late to start something Fresh.
Youngest Olympian Archer to Win a Medal
Many people still have a question. They wonder that if they are much younger than the age limit, can they do fine in Archery? Well before giving my views, let’s see an Achievement of a 14 Years Old Child.
In 1988, A girl named Denise Parker participated in the Women’s U.S Olympic Archery, aging just 14 years old. No one expected her to perform well than her Competitors. But the team she was in managed to get a Bronze medal, making Denise the youngest Archer to win a medal at Olympics.
Some may have doubt that How did she manage to enter the Olympics despite being just being 14 years old, not even fulfilling the 16 years Old criteria? Well, things were way different back then, then today’s condition.
Even if you are below 16, but all set to get Game in Archery, nothing can stop you. You can Compete in the Youth Olympic Games. These games are held after every four years but are held after two Years of Standard Summer Olympics. The Age limit in it is 15-17 years old.
Archery is overall a Great sport, enabling one to Compete throughout Life. You can make your way into the Olympics even if you didn’t have an Early Start. Undoubtedly, Early beginning in Archery have Competitive Advantages for sure, but if one pursuing it have a pure Dedication and Drive, they can fulfill their Olympics’ Dream, irrespective of their Age.