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London, United Kingdom - The U.S. Olympic Team for Archery has enjoyed a productive first five days in London, which began with an all-American flag sendoff at Chicago O'Hare, and continued with four productive days of training at SCORE, a U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) training facility.
Team members Brady Ellison (Payson, Ariz.), Miranda Leek (Des Moines, Iowa), Jake Kaminski (Elma, New York), Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, Calif.), Jacob Wukie (Oak Harbor, Ohio) and Jennifer Nichols (Cheyenne, Wyo.) escorted the United States flag that will fly over the Olympic Village, from Chicago O'Hare to London via United, and local media greeted the team on the ground in Chicago during a press event.
The members of Team USA, including National Head Coach KiSik Lee (Chula Vista, Calif.), Coach Mel Nichols (Glendale, Ariz.), Team Leader Cindy Bevilacqua (West Chester, PA), and Medical Staff Kevin Pierce (Chula Vista, Calif.) then had an uneventful flight to London's Heathrow Airport, where they arrived early Tuesday. The team enjoyed efficient processing through security and border checkpoints, and was transported to the Olympic Village, where they will reside for the duration of the Games.
Team Processing was the next task at hand for Team USA archers, at which USOC staff assisted in outfitting them to represent the United States in style. Athletes noted that they were humbled by the amount of clothing they were given by team sponsors: "Just got done with processing," tweeted Kaminski on Tuesday. "cannot believe the amount of stuff I just got. All top quality."
The archers trained at SCORE from Wednesday through Saturday, which is an indoor seventy meter facility. The team showed successive improvement in scores throughout the week, with individual athletes posting new personal best scores. In practicing team rounds, the men shot what would be a world record setting score of 235 (with one eight) and the women hit a strong 227 on Thursday.
"I am very pleased to see that all of our team members are well adjusted from jet leg and their spirit is getting stronger," commented Coach Lee after Thursday's session. "It was a great day today with great training and one unofficial world record!"
On Saturday, the team participated in an informal media availability, designed to offer journalists an opportunity to film the team in practice, and also to give archers a warm-up to the team's official press conference, which will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 24 at the Main Press Centre.
Questions ranged from medal expectations - "We're just going to go out there and have a lot of fun with it," noted Ellison - to the weather: "Weather is not really going to affect our performance," explained Coach Lee. "I'm not really worried about weather."
The team is expected to begin shooting at Lord's Cricket Ground starting Sunday; they will train there on the practice field - the same field for the Ranking Round - until competition begins on the 27th. For complete information on archery at the Olympic Games, including competition schedules, links to results, broadcast schedules and more, visit our "Follow the Team" page.
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