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Team Navy Road to the Warrior Games Featured Sport: Archery

WASHINGTON -- In this series, we will explore each of the twelve sports that will be featured during the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games: archery, cycling, field, golf, indoor rowing, powerlifting, shooting (precision air sports), sitting volleyball, swimming, track, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.

Whether athletes are practicing at home or competing during the DoD Warrior Games, attention and focus is key to success with archery. 

Concentration and technique go hand in hand; one cannot work without the other. While the goal may appear to be clear – shoot the arrow in the bullseye – archery is not that simple. Archery is not only a physical sport, but also a mental sport. In addition to the psychical conditioning, athletes incorporate mental exercises during their training process to increase their concentration.

Archery requires practice, patience, and the willpower to succeed. The sport cannot be mastered overnight. They require focus and dedicated to unlock the athlete’s potential; but they are within reach of anyone with a dream and desire. 


From the types of bows used in competition to the sport’s origin, here is a list of four facts to know.

  1. Sport Origin and Paralympics History: Archery was the first sport where wheelchair athletes had organized competition. It is also one of the sports with the most similarities to its able-bodied counterpart. Archery has a long history in the Paralympics. Having been part of every Paralympic Games since Rome 1960, archery, as well as athletics, dartchery (a combination of darts and archery), swimming, table tennis, snooker, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair fencing, was included as one of the original eight sports. Former Team Navy athlete, Andre Shelby made history as the first Black archer to compete for Team USA in the Paralympic Games. Making his debut in 2016 at Rio, Shelby won gold in the men’s individual compound open competition.
  2. Bow Types: Athletes compete using either a compound or recurve bow across five classification categories. An athlete’s bow type is determined by their personal preference. A recurve bow is known as the modern evolution of traditional bows. As its name implies, the limbs positioned at the top and bottom of the bow curve back away from the archer at each tip. Whereas, the compound bow uses a levering system of pulleys and cables, making it faster and more accurate than other types of bows. 
  3. Warrior Games Competition Style: During the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games, the archery competition is composed of two major events: the individual and team competitions. Male and female athletes compete against each other in all competitions and shoot at a distance of 18 meters. 
  4. Archery Classification: Sport classification is a system that provides a level playing field for athletes competing in adaptive sports. The DoD Warrior Games will offer five classifications for individuals, including compound – open, recurve – open, compound – seated, recurve – seated, compound/recurve – visually impaired. Additionally, there will be two classifications for teams, including compound (3-athlete team/combined classifications) and recurve (3-athlete team/combined classifications).


Follow along on Team Navy's Road to the Warrior Games on the official Team Navy webpageFacebook, and Instagram, and join us in cheering for the team at the DoD Warrior Games!


Article originally published on May 26, 2021 | Story by Megan Trexler | Commander, Navy Installations Command


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