Graham Potts of Archery GB travelled to Rio this summer, where he was Chairman of Judges in the archery. Having returned home after a magical Olympic Games for everyone connected with Team GB, Graham has filed his final guest blog.
Graham Potts: My Olympic Experience
Having returned home on the 14th August (we Judges don’t get any extra holiday, I was on my way home the day after the Olympic archery event finished!) I have had some time to reflect on the event, my own work within it, and the quality provided.
I think it fair to say that the management of the event went extremely well and that the venue worked well for archery, even if the platforms could have been a bit bigger on the ranking round field!
My team of judges worked very professionally, and I was immensely proud of their performance overall – I would be really happy to work with them all at any time again. I was also pleased with the exceptional support provided by the National Technical Officials – this is measured through the work in running the practice field all the time – I never received any adverse comments or complaints, and it enabled me to be able to focus on the main field of play and all the matchplay elements of the event.
The Koreans managed to win all four gold medals, and a bronze individual into the bargain, and again showed their supremacy in the Olympic Games. It was good to see that other medals were spread around a bit, and as ever the shooting provided some great drama – none more so than when we had a shoot-off that resulted in a tie and had to be followed by a further shoot-off!
And, if I can be a bit impartial now I’m home, it was great to see Naomi Folkard gain a 7th place – her best result in an Olympic Games – and to see Patrick Huston perform well in his first Olympics. No pressure Patrick, but note I said ‘first’ – we are expecting you to make further progress!
It was also a super opportunity to catch up with many worldwide friends, and make some new ones – people who are like-minded about our wonderful sport and the drama it can provide for the spectators watching, both at the venue and following it at home.
And for the evenings? Well, we ate well at a number of local restaurants to our hotel (quality steaks were the order of the day – most days!), and also found some good food at the food stalls along the Olympic Boulevard in town, where the Olympic flame had also been moved too.
I am home with many happy memories – I cannot think of any bad ones – and suffice to say I enjoyed every day, hour, minute and second in my role as Chairman of Judges.
I of course came home with the obligatory various bits of merchandise, but the one thing most archers will see is my new Stetson – courtesy of Bob Pian, my colleague from the USA!
As I now complete my first 50 years in archery, I can honestly say this has been one of the most satisfying years of all. I have still to officiate at the World Cup Final in Odense later this month, and then I might get a bit more time to get the bow out and shoot!
My grateful thanks go to all the athletes, Coaches, Team Managers/staff, World Archery team, Volunteers, Spectators, and of course my own International and National Technical Officials Team for making this a special event to remember.
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