Do you ever wonder what it takes for an archer to be considered a legend?
There are people in this world who are able to excel at what they do at levels that the average person is unable to achieve. These people reach remarkable levels of skill in a specific trade or practice. Being that this is an archery blog and I always write about things related to archery, we are going to be talking about legendary archers from all over the world.
This is not only about competitive archers in the modern world, but also about legendary archers from an ancient world. A world where archery was an essential part of our survival as a species. Perseverance is the true answer to the question of what it takes to be great. We are going to look into the accomplishments of the greatest archers and the reasons that made them legendary.
Top legendary competitive archers
Lee Sung Jin
The first person on this list is a female Korean archer by the name of Lee Sung Jin. She was born in South Korea on March 7, 1985, in Chungcheongnam. She has two Olympic medals in her 8-year career and she became famous for taking a top spot in local tournaments all the time. Her struggles with shoulder surgery kept her away from the bow for over a year, but she came back strong and she continued to dominate to retire after she won her second gold medal.
She gained legendary status for her skills, and she continues to practice and teach archery to new talent in her country. There is no doubt that both male and female archers are just as good when you see the accomplishments of a woman like Lee Sung Jin.
There is a quote from this archer saying that he based his life on the sport of archery, and his accomplishments with the bow are a testament to that statement. Michele was born in Italy on May 1st, 1976 in Gallarate. He has achieved legendary status for taking many tournaments during his career, which started back in 1986 and people see him as a natural talent from a very early age.
Another reason why he stands out is that of his unorthodox technique. Most archers don’t even try to emulate his style due to how awkward it feels, but it has been ideal for him. His gold, silver and bronze medals are proof of his mastery of the bow, not to mention many European tournaments and worldwide events that he has won over the years.
This superstar Korean archer was born August 15th, 1975 in Jeollabuk, South Korea. This man gained popularity for many reasons, but his accuracy with the bow eclipsed them all. His trademark sunglasses and his accuracy levels reminded his opponents that they had an incredibly good opponent to beat.
It would be safe to say that regardless of his two Olympic gold medals and his one silver Olympic medal achievements, plus the many tournaments he won, he was always been known for his stylish looks and his modern approach to archery.
Like most accomplished archers, he continues to teach the art and his children turned out to be archery enthusiasts. He mentioned that he never taught them the basics, but they seemed to have the archery genes in them because of their natural posture with the bow.
This professional archer was born October 23rd, 1956 in Cincinnati, Ohio. There is no question that the United States of America has seen a great number of accomplished archers, and to say that Darrel Pace is the greatest target archer of all times is quite an accomplishment, but one that he definitely deserves. With two Olympic gold’s and one Silver, he was also the winner of many tournaments, and he continues to be an accomplished archer that the new generation admires.
One curious fact about him is that he always had a rival. One that was as competitive as he was. They both started competing back in their teenage years. They have been teammates and rivals for as long as they have been archers. Darrel claims that if it weren’t for his rivalry with Rick McKinney, he would never have become as good of an archer as he managed to become.
It’s fitting that the most accomplished archer in modern times is also a South Korean. Kim Soo-Nyung was born April 5th, 1971 in Chungbeongbuk, South Korea. She has four Olympic gold medals, one silver, and one bronze and she has won a large number of major tournaments all over the world. She has been a dominant force in archery that spans her accomplishments over 3 decades and continues to be an inspiration for many new talents.
Kim started his journey as an archer when she was 13 years old. She managed to become part of the National Archery team just 3 years later when she was 16. This goes to show just how naturally talented she was from a very early age. Her coaches nicknamed her “The Viper” because of her incredible accuracy.
I had to include this archer and he is relatively unknown unless you are into archery, but he is not known for Olympic or tournament accomplishment. He is actually a painter and writer, but he has broken several world records for speed. One of them is that he was able to shoot 10 arrows in just 4.9 seconds. Just typing that makes me laugh. Imagine shooting 9 arrows in 4.9 seconds and then try it yourself. If you shoot 1 arrow per second with a certain level of accuracy, you are already above average.
I suggest that you go to YouTube and look for his videos. You are going to love what you find. To say this guy is a natural is an understatement.
Hubert Van Innis
This Belgian archer was born February 24, 1886, in Vlaams Brabant. He is a truly legendary archer with six Olympic medals and three silvers. To this day, he continues to be the leader in terms of Olympic medals won for the sport of archery. There is no denying that the bow was a much more rustic instrument back then. This means that optimal levels of accuracy were harder to achieve.
Undoubtedly, people remember him as one of the greatest archers the world has ever seen.
Koreans and archery
There is no question that Koreans are a dominant force in this art form. The history of Korea and the bow and arrow is unique. I invite all archers to read about Korean traditional archery. I would say that Korean archers have been predominant in most top 50 archer lists. This has been the case for as long as the sport has existed.
Archers who became legends
This military general and warlord became famous for his skills with the bow. He gained notoriety for stopping a fight between two generals that wanted to start a slaughter between their troops. Lu told the generals that he was going to shoot an arrow at the branch of a halberd’s head. The branch was a few hundred feet away. He said that if he managed to do this, they would both withdraw their troops.
In a normal situation, those generals would have simply ignored Lu Bu. But his proposal seemed so impossible, that they decided to let him attempt it. Their curiosity beat their thirst for blood, and Lu Mu successfully took the shot and split the branch below the halberd’s head. Impressed and probably frightened by his accuracy, they decided to honor the deal and they left right away.
This 12th-century Chinese general was a man that managed to achieve incredible archery feats. He was most popular for being able to hit 9 bulls’ eyes in a row that were placed 240 feet away. Not only that, but he was the equivalent of an action hero back in his day due to his martial arts and boxing skills. He was like a Chinese Achilles that was insanely accurate with the Bow.
Inspiring fictional archers
I know that this is about real archers and their accomplishments, but I want to take the time to mention some of the fictional archers that have inspired me. Legolas from Lord of The Rings is at the top of my list. I was already into archery when the movies came out. But ever since I read the book, I felt inspired by how good he was with the bow. This might be silly to some people, but I think we draw inspiration from everything even if it’s fictional. My admiration for Legolas inspired me to write a dedicated article about famous fiction archer characters.
Archers come and go in this world, but there are some individuals that manage to leave a mark that stands the test of time. Their greatness comes from their abilities with the bow, but also from their personal stories, and often from their perseverance when faced with adversity in their quest for greatness.