In just a few weeks’ time Graham Potts, of Archery GB, will head to Rio de Janeiro as chairman of the International Technical Official team at the Olympic Games. We spoke to Graham earlier this year and, with the Games just less than a month away, Graham has filed this exclusive guest blog about what he’s been up to in his life as an archery judge as he prepares for Rio…

I have had a busy time this year since the main outdoor season started in the UK. I was privileged to be the Chair of Judges for both European Championships and the Olympic Games Selection shoots, and witnessed some great competition in a strong competitive atmosphere. It was a pleasure to work with our top athletes in this environment.

I was of course – as we all were – pleased to see that we have GB representation at the Olympic Games through Patrick and Naomi’s success in qualification events, and then we have great representation as well at the Paralympics. Well done to all of our team that will, I am sure, represent Britain well.

It’s been all go in 2016

I have also been busy with a number of other events in the UK, culminating in this last weekend as Chairman of Judges at the National Series Legs at Surrey, my last judging before I go to Rio – with a 77 target field, it certainly kept me on my toes. It has been good to judge at the various events, which included one of my favourites – a charity event at West Essex in aid of the Essex Air Ambulance – which is a very good cause and the club there have raised a lot of money over the years to support the charity.

I have also managed to get some shooting in, including representing my County at the County Team Championships at Lilleshall, and also competing in the GNAM and the SSCAM – two of my favourites to shoot in, with good company and friendship. I also found some time to “field crew” at the Junior National Championships, a great event and the biggest ever – well done to the organisers!

Preparing for the Olympic Games

So what’s next? Well, after a few weeks “off” (although I have a day with the Para Team later in July), I fly out to Rio on the 1st August, so beforehand I will be ensuring I have all the information I need, and that my team of Judges are also kept informed. And of course I need to pack…!

When I get there, we have a few days to undertake a few tasks – checking the venue, checking the athletes equipment, and undertaking rehearsals. On the 5th we have the Ranking Round, and in the evening I hope to be going to the opening ceremony in the Maracana Stadium (one for the football fans amongst you!).

After that, we run into the same programme as we had in London 2012, culminating in the Individual medal matches on the last two days of competition – Thursday and Friday 11/12 August. And from there, we no doubt will have a little celebration, before we all leave Rio on the 13th and let the Games continue without us!

Am I getting nervous now? You bet! But I am excited to be going, and having the opportunity to work with my top team of judges and our Brazilian officials supporting us, and the talented athletes who are competing for OLYMPIC GOLD!

Graham Potts

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