There’s one particular Olympic discipline
in which Korea excels: archery. No country has come close to challenging Korea’s
reign since the nation’s medal-winning streak began at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Our Kwon Jang-ho when to meet the squad as they enter the final stages of their preparation.
Let’s take a look. Rio is now in sight and Korea’s Olympic teams
are making their final preparations. The Korean Olympic Committee has set its sights
on another top 10 finish, with a target of 10 gold medals.
The sport carrying the weight of the highest expectations is archery.
Since South Korea first competed in Olympic archery in 1984, they have won 19 golds, out
of a possible 30. That’s a 63-percent win rate.
Korea’s women archers have been especially successful.
They have won every gold medal, bar one, in the individual and team events.
The question everyone always asks is how did they get so good? “I’m here at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul.
You may be asking why I’m at a baseball stadium, and what does it have to do with archery?
Well, thats because the Korean national archery team are here for some special psychological
training, practicing to focus and perform under distracting conditions.” The loud MCs, blaring music and cheering crowds
are all designed to give the athletes a taste of what it’s like to perform in front of an
Olympic audience. “Compared to practicing at the athlete’s village,
performing in front this huge crowd definitely makes me more nervous.” “When our archers make mistakes in big tournaments,
it’s not because they lack the skills, but they get affected by the atmosphere and it
makes them not perform to their full potential.” This is part of an extensive mental training
regime the athletes go through. The psychological aspect is said to be the
most important factor in competitive archery, more than skill or health. “Hard work and skill counts for 95 to 98 percent.
At big events like the Olympics, the competitors’ fitness and skill level are similar, but the
order of the medals is determined by how strong you are mentally.” Even though Korea’s record in archery has
been exceptional, by paying attention to the smallest of details in their training and
preparation, they’re looking to leave nothing to chance.
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.