Archers Acclimating To London

Archers Acclimating To London

With world record score in practice, U.S. archery team ready to compete

LONDON -- The U.S. Olympic Team for Archery has enjoyed a productive first five days in London, which began with an all-American flag sendoff at Chicago O'Hare, and continued with four productive days of training at SCORE, a U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) training facility.

Team members Brady Ellison of Payson, Ariz., Miranda Leek of Des Moines, Iowa, Jake Kaminski of Elma, N.Y., Khatuna Lorig of West Hollywood, Calif., Jacob Wukie of Oak Harbor, Ohio, and Jennifer Nichols of Cheyenne, Wyo., escorted the U.S. flag that will fly over the Olympic Village from Chicago O'Hare to London. Local media greeted them before their departure in Chicago.

The team, along with Head Coach KiSik Lee of Chula Vista, Calif., Coach Mel Nichols of Glendale, Ariz., Team Leader Cindy Bevilacqua of West Chester, Penn., and Medical Staff Kevin Pierce of Chula Vista, then had an uneventful flight to London's Heathrow Airport, arriving early Tuesday.

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The team enjoyed efficient processing through security and border checkpoints, and was transported to the Olympic Village, where they will reside for the duration of the Games.

Team Processing was the next task at hand for Team USA archers, at which USOC staff assisted in outfitting them to represent the United States in style. Athletes noted that they were humbled by the amount of clothing they were given by team sponsors: "Just got done with processing," tweeted Kaminski on Tuesday. "cannot believe the amount of stuff I just got. All top quality."

The archers trained at SCORE from Wednesday through Saturday, which is an indoor 70-meter facility. The team showed successive improvement in scores throughout the week, with individual athletes posting new personal best scores. In practicing team rounds, the men shot what would be a world record setting score of 235 (with one eight) and the women hit a strong 227 on Thursday.

"I am very pleased to see that all of our team members are well adjusted from jet leg and their spirit is getting stronger," Coach Lee said after Thursday's session. "It was a great day today with great training and one unofficial world record!"

On Saturday, the team participated in an informal media availability, designed to offer journalists an opportunity to film the team in practice, and also to give archers a warm-up to the team's official press conference Tuesday.

Questions ranged from medal expectations -- "We're just going to go out there and have a lot of fun with it," noted Ellison -- to the weather: "Weather is not really going to affect our performance," Coach Lee said. "I'm not really worried about weather."

The team began shooting at Lord's Cricket Ground, the archery venue, on Sunday; they will train there on the practice field - the same field for the Ranking Round - until competition begins.

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