Olympic Recurve .. still the only Archery at the Olympics
“Following a holistic review of all existing and new disciplines proposed by the respective IFs with sports on the LA28 programme, only one change has been made to the discipline programme compared to Paris 2024, with beach sprint rowing … included on the Olympic programme for the first time.”
And with the above, rather dismissive announcement from the IOC … compound doesn’t get to be added to the list of Olympic sports for LA 2028. So what went wrong?
Pretty much everything! There just didn’t seem to be enough in favour, and too much against. Then again, its the IOC. An organisation that explains nothing so what the actual reality is somewhat of a mystery but the possible issues included…
- Participation in compound archery is a little underwhelming around the world. Europe and the US are fine but after that it gets a little sparse and the IOC like things to be world wide. Something that recurve is and the brutally expensive compound isn’t.
- Compound fell into the venue trap. If compound could be shot at the recurve venue, then its not that different to recurve so why include so similar a sport to one we already have. If compound tried to be different with say, field or the proposed indoor round, then it needs another venue which costs to build or convert and budgets for the Olympics are already crippling on a national level.
- The wheelie bow’s inclusion would have pitted recurves against compound (like we need an excuse! ;o). This is because any athletes participating in compound would have come from the allocation given to archery. There is a 10.5k athlete maximum the IOC WILL NOT increase ever. If there were 36 compounders shooting, their slots would have been taken from the 128 allocated to recurve. World Archery may have had some decidedly mixed feelings about this as it would have resulted in significant changes to the way international recurve is structured.
- It doesn’t help that even though head to head archery can be pretty intense … its not bmx or skateboarding. Therefore it does not have the WOW factor to grab a teen audience. This is something the IOC has been very keen to chase in recent years.
- In addition there’s not going to be a great deal of new sponsorship monies from manufacturers coming in. Recurve makers also make compounds so extra corporate contributions would have been marginal and the IOC is extremely keen on filthy lucre. Those big salaries, expensive hotels and 1st class airfares don’t always get gifted from smoozing nations.
Of course the IOC is not exactly known for its transparency on its completely “above board” decision making so there may have been forces beyond our ken at work (although if this was true, the IOC’s Ken can kiss my Barbie!). Guess we’ll need to let barebow have a go next. What do you say guys, Barebow in Brisbane 2032?
* * *
really good article from Bow International foreshadowing Compound’s Olympic chances from July 2019