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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - After a hiatus of several years, the Hyundai Archery World Cup series has returned to U.S. soil, this year at the Easton Salt Lake Archery Center in Utah. The beautifully manicured turf field and sunny skies formed the perfect backdrop for a warm and mostly windless official practice day as over 300 archers from 40 plus countries took to the field.
Salt Lake local Steve Anderson (Bountiful, Utah) shared: "In Salt Lake City, we have beautiful scenery, the mountains are awesome, and now you incorporate Olympic Champions, World Champions and World Cup Champions into that and you've got a great event, a great tournament."
He added: "Another great thing about having a World Cup here in the U.S. is now people get to see what we actually do. A lot of people see the finals on YouTube or read articles online, but they don't really know what is going on and the process and everything going on with it - they may not understand how big the World Cups are. We're here in our home country, shooting for our home country and people in the U.S. can come see this and experience it for themselves firsthand."
Utah native LaNola Shepherd (Lehi, Utah) was also very enthusiastic about having a home event: "When I found out the World Cup was coming here, I got so excited," she commented. "I'm very happy to be here, I was like: 'it's at my home!'"
"I'm looking forward to being on home turf just to have that support and hopefully a lot of people are going to come and watch the finals," agreed Olympian Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas). "We have some family here and it's nice to have that extra level of support because sometimes it's not easy for them to travel outside of the country. I'm also excited for this event because I sat out the last World Cup and I got a lot of good training experience in that time and I'm looking forward to shooting really well at this event."
National Head Coach KiSik Lee says the team is looking strong for competition this week: "As always, we're very happy and comfortable shooting on home ground. I think the team will do well; they're just a little tired after the trip from Turkey, but we always get a little extra energy at home and everything is comfortable and ready to go."
In regard to the finals matches this weekend, Coach Lee encourages everyone locally to join us on site, or to watch live on NBC Sports' platforms. "This is the best opportunity for people to see an international tournament. These athletes are shooting to represent their country," as compared to other events in the U.S. where they are competing for individual recognition. "The most impactful thing is that they're shooting for the gold medal for their country. Everyone should be there to support them and watch that."
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