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July 07, 2011

Darrell Pace: Athlete of the Century

Darrell Owen PACE was probably the world's top archer in the 1970s and 1980s. A four-time Olympian, he broke five Olympic records at the 1976 and 1984 Games and won two individual titles. At the age of 16, PACE became the youngest member of the U.S. team at the world championships. He won the world title in 1975 and 1979 becoming the first person in the "modern" era of archery to win the title twice. He was named "Athlete of the 20th Century" at the FITA Congress 2011.


Darrell O. PACE first competed internationally in 1973, at age 16, becoming the youngest member of the U.S. team at the world championships, where he finished 23rd. He went on to win four consecutive national championships, from 1973 through 1976. He also won the U.S. title in 1978 and 1980. PACE won the world title in 1975 and 1979 and finished second to long-time rival Rick McKINNEY (USA) in 1983.


After winning an Olympic gold medal in 1976, PACE was selected for the 1980 Olympic team, but the U.S. boycotted the Moscow Games that year because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In 1984, PACE took a 13-point lead after the first day of the four-day competition and won an easy victory. The American also competed in the 1988 Olympics, finishing ninth in the individual competition and was on the silver medal-winning U.S. team along with McKINNEY and Jay BARRS.


PACE also set multiple world records in the FITA and Double FITA Rounds. In 1974, at the U.S. Nationals in Oxford, Ohio, he set his first FITA record of 1291 beating fellow countryman John WILLIAMS' record of 1268 shot at the 1972 Olympics. PACE broke that in 1975 at the Nationals with the first 1300 in history; he got 1316. In 1978, Giancarlo FERRARI from Italy broke that with a 1318. PACE then shattered that the next year in 1979 with a 1341 in Japan; that record stood for 10 years. All in all PACE held the FITA Round world record for 14 years, raising the record a total of 71 points in five years.


As of 2008, PACE pitched for softball and he now bowls! Read more about Darrell at http://www.archery.org. 



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