The Olympic sport of Archery dates back a very long time – c 10000 BC and of course originally it was used for fighting or catching food. The development of firearms saw its use decline and today it’s mainly a recreational sport.
It first featured as an Olympic sport at the 1900 Paris games but was absent from 1924 -1968. Returning in 1972 it still features in the summer Olympics although the bows today are very different from the original ones made from wood and string. They look very complicated and are no doubt expensive. To me it’s definitely a rich man’s version of darts! It certainly takes more concentration though and I don’t think alcohol intake will improve anyone’s scores as seems to be the case with darts.
But, and apologies to any dedicated archers reading this, it’s not the best sport for spectators. It seems quite slow, which given how precise these bows should be and how things have changed (I gather you can now get aids to help release the string, stabilisers and who knows what else) it feels like, as in many sports, it’s being dictated by science. Of course that shouldn’t distract from the dedication required from competitors and the amount of practising they do to try and become the best.
That’s probably why I’m not a sportswoman. Plus I’m not good at closing one eye to focus on a target so definitely wouldn’t make a good archer! It also doesn’t create the best look when preparing to fire.
Fire? Shoot? Not sure of the correct terminology but I do know that there are different types of Archery including one that is Target Archery. Hmm I would have thought they all needed targets but that just defines the use of the circular targets we’re all probably familiar with, the ones with a centre and then outer rings. Makes more sense when you discover there is also Popinjay archery where they aim at birds. Painted wooden birds before anyone from the RSPB starts complaining. What doesn’t make sense to me is that these targets can be shot at horizontally as well as vertically. Bit risky when you consider what goes up must come down.
As for other A sports, these are just some that I came across:
Air Sports - most of which involve being suspended in the air, often without a parachute. No thank you.
Abseiling – again no thank you – suspended on a piece of rope above the ground. Why?
Aid climbing – well I guess this would be better than no aid climbing which just involves yourself but the aid quoted is ropes, hooks etc., i.e. equipment, not someone who offers you a helping hand.
Artistic cycling – sorry, cycling is a method of transport aimed at getting me from A to B.
Axe Throwing – that could be interesting. Don’t play this with anyone you know who lets a bowling ball slip out of their hands when swinging their arm back.
Artistic Billiards – Hmm is this where they try to make pretty patterns with the balls? But that can’t be right, English Billiards is only played with 2 white and 1 red ball.
Angling – this is another name for men escaping from their women for a day (or night) isn’t it?
Alpine skiing – skiing involves snow, involves getting cold, doesn’t involve me.
Aquatic sports – involves water, involves getting wet, possibly drowning. Another no!
Auto racing – now this is one I might enjoy. Having hared around Holland in a minibus trying to catch up with the rest of the team taking part in a relay race I have some experience. However, knowing the reputations of the Top Gear presenters I don’t want to be compared to them plus the mandatory crash helmet would ruin my hair.
So no A sports for me, what about you?