At the Aquece Rio test event in Brazil, archers got a first impression of how the next Olympic Games will feel.
Being an Olympian requires hard work, dedication and sacrifice.
There’s unlimited advice available from friends, family and coaches on how best an athlete might best perform at a Games – best who’s better to hand out that advice than an Olympian themselves?
Here’s the advice some veteran Olympians at the Aquece Rio test event had to give future Olympic hopefuls…
1. Archery, sleep, repeat
Olympic Champion Oh Jin Hyek’s key word for success: “repeat”. “To become an Olympian you have to repeat, repeat and repeat,” he says. “There’s no stopping when you want to be the best. My hands are full of blisters and it hurts, but it doesn’t matter when they are the proof that I’m good.”
2. … but be careful
Five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig has plenty of Games experience. Throughout her years in archery, Khatuna has taught a number of different archers to shoot, too. She was even Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence’s coach for the The Hunger Games films, which brought archery a great deal of attention.
“Do not exhaust yourself with training,” Khatuna advises. “There’s no need to do over training. You will just get tired and won’t be able to perform well through the competition.”
3. Prepare your body and mind
Furukawa Takaharu from Japan believes that the key to success at the Olympics is to keep an eye on everything at the test event and to take care of your body.
“The first thing you should do is to prepare your body to have it in the perfect conditions and avoid injuries, especially on your shoulders,” the London 2012 silver medallist explains.
“Then, you must check the schedule to know in advance when and where will you be shooting. Finally, you need to know that there would be many spectators and media around, so it’s good to know from the test event where they will be. This way you can get used to it.”
4. Forget who’s watching you
“There will be many people watching you – including your family and friends – on the stands and on TV. Don’t worry about them, forget they exist. Go to the shooting line, relax, prepare your shot and enjoy,” said Ukrainian Lidiia Sichenikova!
5. Relax and enjoy
Twenty-seven-year old Jake Kaminski from the USA won a silver medal with the recurve men’s team at London 2012. For Jake, it is all about enjoying the moment… “Enjoy and take a time even if you lose or win. Leave no stone unturned, do everything you possibly can to prepare – and if you know somebody else is doing something and is making them better, then you should do it, or do something similar.”
6. You are not alone…
“You have a team backing you up! Trust your teammates and enjoy the moment with them. Train and repeat until you get comfortable with your shooting,” says two-time Olympic team gold medallist Im Dong Hyun.
7. It’s a party
It is said that the Olympic Games are a big party in which every four years, the best athletes from all over the world get the opportunity to represent their country and prove their sporting excellence.
China’s Xing Yu: “As it is the best party you will go to every four years, you have to wear your uniform the best you can, train hard and get yourself the best prepared as you can to shoot – our dancing time,” he says. “Get out there in the Olympic arena and shoot to enjoy the party! This is the only way to learn and get good results.”
8. remember… It’s your party!
London 2012 silver medallist Aida Roman loves the Olympic atmosphere. Aside from the competition, says Aida, it’s important to get involved in the activities around the Games as much as possible: “For me, the Olympics are the graduation party for any athlete. Just be part of the party and enjoy. Getting the chance to represent your country at the Olympics is one of the best things that can happen to you ever.”