Kobe and Lebron team up against the world. Micheal Phelps pushes his medal count to 22 in the final race of his Olympic career. Usain Bolt proves, once again, that he is the fastest man in the world. There were a number of great story lines and headlines in the 2012 Olympics, but none of them pulled in the viewers like archery did in the first nights of the games.
Last Thursday, NBC announced that archery pulled in an average of 1.5 million viewers (more than basketball) every time a bow and arrow was on the screen. There are three big reasons why interest in archery is so high.
The first is the influence of archery in popular media such as The Hunger Games, Brave and The Avengers. Scenes like this are turning a generation of young people on to the sport.
Secondly, Arizona native Brady Ellison, who received a lot press as America’s best hope for hardware in the archery events. His efforts helped the USA earn a Team Silver in the events.
And lastly, blind South Korean Archer Im Don’t-hyun had become a sensation even before the Olympics began, but after he set the first world records of this year’s games, his name and story spread throughout the world.
While no one can be sure how long this surge of interest in archery can last, it’s certainly encouraging to see so many people, especially young people, turning their attention to the outdoors and this great sport.