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The cost of becoming an Olympic archer

Archery is one of those sports that can cost an athlete as much as he makes it. There are different types and styles of archery out there, so the cost varies depending on which aspects of archery one is interested in. Also, if you are not looking at a professional career, all you need is a bow, a few arrows and some free time, but if your goal is to go to the Olympics, that’s a whole new story.

Before starting to shoot, one needs adequate equipment: a bow, a sight, an arrow rest, arrows, a release aid, and a target. Compound or recurve bows can start as low as $250, and most starter ones will come with a sight that is around $100, and an arrow rest that is around $50. Then there are arrows, a lot of them since they easily break – one is of about $8. Release aids can be found at about $50, and youth target of about $30. So just to start with archery, one should expect to pay around $500.

Archery will all take over 6,000 hours to reach Olympian level, and will, therefore, cost anywhere from $198,000. In order to keep up with the top tournament pros, you need to enter lots of tournaments, which means there are travel expenses and entry fees, and you’ll also need only the latest gear and equipment, which isn’t cheap. Top of the line pro tournament bows can cost $1400 to $2000, and some cost even more.

The family of an aspiring Olympian will spend up to $25,000 annually. For a modern archer, there’s the matter of $2,000 worth of equipment, $40 to $100 an hour coaching fees, and travel to regional competitions at $3,000 or so a pop. There is a rigorous work ethic of 250 shots a day, six days a week if you want to achieve success. As Teresa Iaconi, spokeswoman for USA Archery and a former coach said, “it’s about becoming as close to a machine as humanly possible.”

Sometimes, an athlete pursuing an expensive sport can catch a break to save a few bucks or refuge to other methods. Teresa related the story of Ariel Gibilaro, now 24-year-old from North Branford, Conn., who has been shooting competitively from when she was 13. Gibilaro, who missed 2012 Olympic cut but was considered a strong candidate for 2016, bypassed the $9 an hour range fee other pay, by requiring 70 feet of shooting space on a neighbours’ farm.

Training for the Olympics costs a lot more these days, and archery here is no exception. Financial help from SportyCo can assure athletes to focus mainly on their sport and therefore achieve better results, without having to reach for other options.

Source: Forbes, GMS, Archery Dude, Archery Squad

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