If I'm going to follow a sport, I gotta know who's who and why I should care who does well. There are 3 big local names I’ve heard a lot, and I totally think of them as the big deal around here. Crispin Duenas has been to the Olympics a couple of times, so that’s major. Vanessa Lee has joined him on the National Archery team and she’s part of CIBC Team Next as an ambassador for the sport. Hamilton Nguyen is poised to be up in the stratosphere with them any time now. This week, at Vanessa’s encouragement, I sat down with Hamilton and took my explorations a step further, i.e swamped him with clarifying questions. And he swamped me right back with big answers but he gave me a bit of a 'what you need to know on the webs' tour with his computer, which helped much. (This is so amazing and fun. Allow me a moment of “My life is so cool!” here, ok?)
Now, Vanessa tossed another couple of local names in there. Her crystal ball says that Connor Sorley, new-ish in town from Saskatchewan, and Brandon Xuereb – Hey! I've met him, too! - are a few years earlier in their development, but we’re gonna want to watch for them.
Knowing the names is nice. I think two things really make it pop for me, though: one is knowing they're 'ours'. They're jonesing for the mud at Seton to dry up, too. When it's gross out, they text each other, "Hey let's meet at Peel tonight." They might be sharing a target with you at an OCCS tournament. And because they're around, you can say hi, or sit and watch 'em do their magic.
The other thing that makes it come alive is getting a sense of their characters. I kinda want to know a little more. What people are about. And that’s where the magic of the internet comes in. When you’re following a tournament, pop an athlete’s name into your computer machine and do a little discovering. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Facebook fan pages are becoming a thing for athletes – don’t go friending them but do a little name search and scroll down till you find the profile that says ‘athlete’ underneath. That’s stuff they’re putting out there just exactly so you can have a little inside peek. For example, all the women on the National Team have 'em. (I put links on Facebook.) Hamilton's humbly holding out till he reaches a certain achievement, which is twice as much reason to look forward to it.
Which reminds me that there are a number of categories people are sorted into for competitions and you may want to do like me: pick just one to follow for starters. Like I say, you may want to pick Women's Recurve because they have good social media presence. Or you could go with the Men's: Our dudes are becoming rather prominent on the world stage. Heck, you could go with whatever category you'd be in… you know… when you get to be that good.