National Archery Day on the second Saturday in May recognizes one of the oldest sports still in existence. Archery has been around since before 2800 BC when bows were being used for hunting and battle.
- In 1900, the modern Olympic games introduced archery as an official event. However, it only appeared again in 1904, 1908, and 1920. Then once again after a long absence, archery returned in 1972 and remains an Olympic sport today.
- In recent years, archery’s growing popularity is piquing people’s interest. One supporting reason points to the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) that began in Kentucky in 2002. Since then, the program expanded to 47 states and 10 countries, with over 2.1 million kids participating each year.
- The modern Olympic recurve bow may look hi-tech, but it is actually based on a design that originated over 3500 years ago (1500 BC)!
- An archer can also be referred to as a toxophilite. The word comes from two Greek words that together mean ‘lover of the bow’.
- During the Middle Ages, a skilled long-bowman could release between 10-12 arrows per minute. That’s an arrow every five/six seconds!
- To get within the ‘gold ring’, Olympic archers have to be able to hit a target the size of a beermat from a distance of seven bus lengths!
- Five-time US Olympic archery champion Khatuna Lorig trained Jennifer Lawrence for the Hunger Games films. She’s not the only Hollywood star to be adept with a bow. Thelma & Louise star Geena Davis just missed out on making the US Olympic archery team in 2000, placing 24th out of 300!
- Archery was the only sport that women could take part in, when they were first allowed to compete in the 1904 St. Louis Olympics.
- According to the National Safety Council (it does exist), archery is more than three times safer than golf, with just one injury for every 2,000 participants. USA Archery reports that the sport is even safer than bowling.
- Final arrow shot in an archery competition is called an upshot.
- Roger Ascham wrote the earliest book on archery in English. It was written in 1545 and its name is “Toxophilus.”
- William Shatner (Captain Kirk from the Star Trek) is an avid archer.
- Being “Wide of the Mark” meaning not to the point comes from a mark being an archery target
- “Highly Strung” might have been to do with stringed musical instruments but many believe its to do with a bow which has been over-strung, with a too-short string. The implication is that a bow with a string too tight is on the verge of a breakdown
- “Parting Shot” comes from the term “Parthian shot” which is a shot taken behind you from horseback as you retreat.
- “Rule of Thumb” also known as a fistmele which indicates the correct bracing height for a longbow.