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Archery (Olympic sport since 1900)


  Anyone familiar with the legend of Robin Hood knows archery competitions date back at least to mediaeval times. Indeed, today's archers still honour the fabled outlaw. The term "Robin Hood" now refers to splitting the shaft of an arrow already in the target with another arrow.

  The equipment has crept forward in its technology since Robin and his merry men had the run of Sherwood Forest, but the sport of archery remains essentially unchanged. A recurve bow coated in fibreglass has become standard, and arrows made of aluminium and carbon graphite can travel more than 240km/h, but the most important requirements are straightforward: steady hands, strong shoulders, flexible muscles, sharp eyes and nerves of steel.

  Archery was a feature of the Olympic Games several times from 1900 to 1920, but then disappeared for more than 50 years. It reappeared at Munich in 1972 and has remained a fixture ever since.  

  © IOC

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