HISTORY OF OLYMPIC ARCHERY
Even though archery was a significant part of Greek’s history, the game of archery was not featured in the first held in Athens Greece in 1894. Archery is no doubt an ancient sport and one that is practiced all around the world, but despite its popularity it did not make it to the Olympics until years later. It was at the Olympics Games held in Paris France in 1900 that the game of archery was first featured and at first it was only practiced by men, women were not a part of the sport at that time. Since then it has grown in the Olympic world and is a much more recognized sport.
For whatever reason a lot of lot of nations did not see the need to participate in the archery games during the Olympics competitions. Most times, there were as little as just three nations represented during each Olympic Game, and it was just the United States that participated in the 1904 Games. Other countries that participated in those early years include; Netherlands, Belgium, France and Great Britain.
A total of just 65 medals were awarded in the Olympic Games held between 1900 and 1920. No bronze medals were awarded in the Antwerp games held in 1920 because the competition was low. The idea of having archery in the Olympics was often debated since it had such little interest from supporters and primarily from participants.
There were many attempts to bring more popularity to the sport and to hopefully encourage more members to compete, but their attempts were in vain as it was still not a popular sport at that time. So much so that it was stopped as a sport for some time.
After 1920, archery sport was no longer featured in Olympic Games. During the period of its absence, the Federation Internationale De Tir and I Arch or FITA was founded in 1931 in Poland. The arm of FITA was to ensure that archery was featured in Olympic Games. They worked hard for years to improve archery competitions and how they were received by the public. Eventually their hard work paid off.
Finally, 52 years later, in the year 1972 archery was once again a feature at the Olympics games. And it came back with a much better format and design. As well as now having a division of men and women.
This new rules and form got a lot of countries interested in to participate in the game. The organization FITA was changed to World Archery in 2011, and they oversaw organizing the events, outline qualifications and rules. Thanks to their hard work and effort archery is now a regular part of all Olympics games and is once again a loved sport and watched by many. You have most likely seen them compete at games and can say that it is a truly fascinating sport to watch. How glad we are that they brought it back to the Olympics.