Archery is a sport that goes back 10,000 years ago, when it was used for hunting and warfare. It was used for necessity then, but is now an intense sport that is played in over 140 countries, according to london2012.com. There has been a spike in interest of archery lately with the popularity of the “Hunger Games” book series and movie. The heroine, Katniss Everdeen, uses a bow and arrows extensively. According to the LA Times, “sales of archery equipment have increased more than 20 percent in the last year.”
This year, 128 archers will compete. The event will be held at the Lord’s Cricket Ground from July 27- Aug. 3.
The goal is to shoot arrows in the middle of 122-centimeter targets. The middle gold ring is worth 10 points. Archers have to shoot from 70 meters away. There are two individual competitions, one for men and one for women. Matches consist of three arrows per archer, with best-of-five sets. The winners of each match move up to the next round. When there are only two archers left, they complete in the gold medal round. There is also a knockout phase where teams of three archers compete in best-of-24 arrows.
Archery was added to the Olympics in 1900 in Paris. It was taken out after 1908, but then put back in during the 1920 Olympics. But only for that year, as it was left out for the following 52 years. It came back to stay in 1972. In the last summer Olympics in Beijing, Juan Juan Zhang of China won the gold medal for the women’s individual competition, and Viktor Ruban of Ukraine won the gold for the men’s individual competition.