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WESTFIELD, Indiana - Today marks the start of the 133rd U.S. National Target Championships and the 2017 JOAD National Target Championships. With a mind-blowing record of over 1,150 archers converged in one place to compete for a week in the sport we are all so passionate about, USA Archery shares our deep appreciation for all the individuals who have created this community over the last nearly century and a half.
We have so many Olympians, Paralympians, World Champions, world record holders, pioneers in our sport in technology, coaching, mental management here in Grand Park in Hamilton County, Indiana. There are athletes who began target archery to be like their parents or grandparents who hunt or also compete, there are athletes who were wounded in war and found new purpose and a new world of opportunities in archery. There are Boy and Girl Scouts and 4-H and NASP archers here, student-athletes who excel in the classroom, and those who found archery as a way to relax or stay active outside of the office. Some archers here have been shooting for decades and for others, this is their first major tournament experience.
Well over 20,000 members strong, USA Archery is a family. Over the next week, archers from over 40 states and 6 countries will shoot 144 arrows of qualification and elimination matches to determine national champion honors and earn national ranking points. Beyond that, there will be hours on this field, creating friendships and memories that will last a lifetime and extend far beyond the archery range.
We have the unique opportunity in this sport to stand on the line as competitors, but really only competing against ourselves - to be better than you were yesterday. We can cheer for our competitors, teammates, friends, wanting each of them to succeed and shoot their best and wish the same for ourselves.
Archery is one of the world's oldest sports, and yet we see some of the most modern and advanced technology here on the field. Albert Einstein said that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again with the expectation of a different outcome. If that's true - at least we're all crazy together! Striving for more tens, tighter groups, complete perfection, our sport continues to grow and advance and we look forward to celebrating your accomplishments.
To the parents, coaches, volunteers, family and friends who spent hours, days, months and years helping our archers get here today; USA Archery thanks each of you. To each of our archers, welcome to our Outdoor Nationals we wish you all the best in competition this week. May the odds be ever in your favor!
Live scores throughout the tournament will be available here. On Saturday evening, we will have a live stream of the U.S. Open Finals available at 7pm ET here. Join the conversation on social media with #OutdoorNationals and for more follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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