This morning we got up early so we could have breakfast, visit the church that has the bell tower and get to the field in time to practice and meet the Bogen Archery Magazine reporter for an interview he had requested yesterday. It is a German publication.
Courtney began the day by getting out of bed and going downstairs with the video camera to capture the sights and sounds of the church bell tower. I didn’t realize it would still be dark at 6:00, so I don’t think there was much to see. I was just interested in hearing the playing of the Angeles anyway. Then the 4 of us went down for breakfast and I uploaded my blog for yesterday’s events.
After breakfast, the four of us set off to see the church grounds. There is a beautiful cemetery that goes back to the 1800’s. Lots of beautiful grave markers, very well taken care of, and a moving monument to World War II.
We couldn’t get into the church, so we walked up the hill a bit to another church which is being renovated. There was a nice view of the village from there.
By the time we walked back, the bus had arrived and we set out for the archery field.
Kerry and Mark sat with the team and cheered on the individuals who were shooting their elimination matches today. Eric Bennett made it into the gold medal round on Sunday and was on cloud 9.
Courtney and I made our way to the practice field. Courtney set up my equipment and the Bogen Archery Magazine reporter/photographer brought a gentleman over with a microphone to interview me. The interviewer didn’t speak English, so the photographer translated for us. It was really fun talking to them. They were really interested in how I got started shooting archery, why I like shooting archery, and how I compared this World Championship experience to the one in 2009 in the Czech Republic. The photographer said he was going to do an article for the Bogen Archery Magazine with pictures and he would send it to us.
We spent about 1 ½ hours practicing shooting my form and working on a cadence for loading my bow and shooting my shot. I had Courtney count to ten while I loaded my bow and then count down 20 seconds so I could work on pacing my shot and not rushing it. I felt pretty good about it toward the end.
Then we put everything away and watched the visually impaired archers shoot their semi-final matches to determine who would be shooting in the medal matches on Sunday. I found out that I will be shooting against Roger Rees-Evans from Great Britain in the gold medal match for the VI-1 category. Carmel Bassett from Great Britain and the Italian archer, Claudio Peruffo, will compete in the bronze match in the VI-2/3 category. Steve Prowse and Peter Price, VI-2/3 archers from Great Britain will compete in the gold medal match for their category.
Now we have a new situation to experience as visually impaired archers. We are, for the first time, being included in the medal matches on the same field as all the other Para archers. This means they will need to make accommodations for us to set up our foot-markers/sighting aids and get sighted in for our matches. The technical delegate explained to us that the medal matches will be broadcast live on archery TV on YouTube. So they are interested in showing that archery can be an interesting sport for spectators. Because they’re worried that the visually impaired archers could take too long to sight in before the match, causing viewers to get board and change the channel, they are going to let us set up and sight in on Saturday evening after the team matches are finished. When we have sighted in, they are going to use spray paint to mark where we have placed our foot-markers. We will then remove them from the shooting line. When we shoot our match on Sunday, we will place our foot-markers where the paint indicates they should be. We’ll then get to shoot 6 arrows to fine tune the sighting. I’m so lucky Courtney is so good at getting me sighted in quickly. We’ve had a lot of practice through the years and it will hopefully pay off on Sunday.
We were also informed that we will need an assistant and an agent when we shoot the medal matches. The assistant (Courtney) will call where my arrows hit the target and will tell me when it is my turn to shoot. We’ll be alternating shooting with our opponent. The assistant will sit down, 1 meter behind the shooting line so that they aren’t blocking the TV cameras. Usually the assistant stands. The agent will be in charge of scoring my arrows, pulling them and bringing them back to me. My agent will be Paul Miller, another coach on the team. There will be an announcer calling out scores and standings for the spectators. Very nerve-racking, but fun!
I’ll find out more about archery TV on YouTube, but see if you can find it. I would imagine my match will be sometime around 6:00 AM Sunday morning, PDT (3:00 my time).
Tomorrow will be team finals. The USA has 4 teams competing for medals. The first match begins at 8:30. We’ll get on the 8:00 bus to get to the range to cheer on our teams. I’ll be practicing the head-to-head format with the other VI archers sometime tomorrow to be sure everyone has the format down since it’s a brand new thing for everyone.
We did get to go back to the church this evening to take a look inside. It was beautiful and very quiet. Courtney took a picture from the choir loft.