Archery is a kind of martial art and requires efficiency in handling bow and arrows. It has been used differently from early ages mostly by early men to hunt for their food and later to ward of wild animals as well as enemies. Since early men were hunter-gatherers bow and arrows were their only weapon.
Fact 1 History Of Archery
The word archery owes its origin to the Latin term “arcus” that means bow and arrows. They were used mostly for hunting animals during the primitive age. History shows that archery had been a part of hunting expeditions among all societies from early times like the recovery of 50,000 years old stone arrowheads in Africa. Gradually, archery came to be used in others ways also except hunting. Ancient Egyptians used it during war also and after that archery spread to other continents also like Asia and then to the Middle East. Here archery was used for hunting and as sports and not to fight wars. Later during the 1900s, archery was included in Summer Olympic Games and in later years also in 1904, 1908 and so on. But it was discontinued from 1924. In 1972 archery was again reintroduced. An archer is also known as “Toxophilite”.
Fact 2 Paralympics History Of Archery
In 1960, among the eight important sports, Rome introduced archery in the Paralympic Games. This sport was initially meant for aged people and all those who had suffered from spinal cord injuries while fighting the Second World War. Today such classifications are not retained.
Fact 3 Types Of Bows And Arrows
There are various types of bows used in archery. They are crossbows, long bows, recurve bows, pyramid bows and reflex bows, compound bows, cable-backed bows, flat bows. Arrows are made of different materials. Initially they were mostly made of bamboo or wood. Nowadays there are fiberglass arrows, composite and aluminum arrows. When an arrow splits another arrow from the middle by the process of shooting, it is known as Robin Hood. In a match, there are team events as well as individual events. An archer has to score 720 to be perfect. The ranking of an athlete is determined by the total scored by the archer with 72 arrows. According to the score, the teams or the individual participants are eliminated. The next Paralympics Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2016. It has been decided that team events for the 2016 games will be for mixed doubles as well as mixed teams.
In modern days, archery has become entirely a sport and a form of recreation. The national sport of Bhutan is archery. Since it is a Buddhist nation, archery is only a game for them and there is an archery range in every village in Bhutan. Competitors should engrave their initials in their arrows is a rule of most competitions.
In the Summer Olympics held in 1900, live pigeons were used as targets. In 1904 Olympic Games, women could participate only in archery. France has performed in the archery competition in the Olympics for the maximum number of times and gold medals in archery have been won by South Korea more than any other competing nations.
Fact 5 Mythical Heroes Were Great Archers
The pictures of Cupid, Apollo or Robin Hood and also Wilhelm Tell with a quiver of arrows on their backs and bows in their hands are quite common. There are innumerable references to archers in almost all mythological stories of the world like the African myths, Roman, Greek, German as well as Chinese myths. Archery has been shown in various movies also like The Hunger Games, Brave, Robin Hood, Rambo and Lord of the Rings. In Japan, Kyudo is a special and traditional form of archery.