By Jonathan Batuello | BSU at the Games
“Thwip, thwip, thwip” ringed through the SCORE Training facility as Team USA Archery released their arrows late last week. This was followed seconds later by “thud, thud, thud” as they hit the red, blue and yellow circular targets 70 meters away. Only the occasional click of a camera by the three photographers in attendance interrupted this repetition of sound.
As all six archers stood within 10 feet of each other practicing, the luxury of being able to concentrate in near silence was something they won’t have as the men’s team gold-medal round commences today at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
“I remember in Beijing the camera noises when our first arrows (were drawn) stepping into the team round, how many cameras there were and just the thought process and stuff that was interrupted on the first and second shot,” world No. 1 recurve archer Brady Ellison said, describing advice he gave to fellow teammates who were at their first Olympic Games.
The men’s team went into qualifying as one of the favorites to win gold with South Korea. It qualified fourth during a ranking round yesterday. All the archers are trying not to think about what could be.
“We’re just trying not to put expectations out there,” Jacob Wukie said. “Just going to have a good time because you hear too many stories about people expecting the best and having the worst happen. We are going to expect nothing and make the best happen.”
It was a sentiment shared by Ellison, who described the need just to think about it like any other practice, even if there is a larger focus and more sound around them than normal.
“It’s us shooting a bow toward a target at 70 meters,” he said. “It’s all the same. It’s 70 meters, it’s us and our bow shooting, and that’s how you have to think about it and how you have to train …
“Why put all that extra pressure on ourselves? It’s the same thing as when we are back home shooting in our backyard.”
The men’s team begins its attempt to win gold in the quarterfinal round at 10:25 a.m. ET. The semi-finals and finals are scheduled for later this evening.
Jonathan Batuello is a graduate student studying journalism at Ball State University and an adviser and writer for BSU at the Games. Follow Jonathan and the BSU team at@jcbatuello, @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.