No matter the political in-fighting back in their home countries, archers have always found a way to leave worries or concerns at home.
There are no international incidents to worry about a world archery tournament. It’s all good-natured competition. Everyone wants to help each other.
Rebecca Lennon and Maya Orlic would certainly agree.
Lennon, a 17-year-old archer from Northern Ireland who shoots for Great Britain, was faced with one of those ‘Uh oh’ moments we all fear when we travel.
One of her bags was lost. And it still hadn’t been found as of Monday.
However, in one of those situations that has come to mark international archery events, a fellow archer stepped up. Maya Orlic, a fellow archer from Croatia, graciously loaned Lennon one of her spare bows.
Crisis averted, at least for now.
“That’s great sportsmanship,” Lennon said during Monday’s official practice for the World Archery Youth Championships, which officially begins today (Tuesday).
It’s also not really a surprise that someone would pay it forward.
“Archery is a good sport with a lot of good people,” Great Britain coach Simon Scott said.
Which helps when you’re faced with a frustrating situation.
Lennon’s original flight Friday morning from Ireland to Heathrow Airport in London was canceled. She had to rush from one terminal to another at Heathrow to catch a flight to Minneapolis. She then flew into Sioux Falls.
Somewhere in that span, from London to Sioux Falls, her bag was lost.
“It’s somewhere,” Lennon said.
Sure, the clothes — and sunscreen, she pointed out with a smile — in that bag can be replaced, but it’s a little harder to participate in an archery tournament with a bow and arrows.
“I can buy other clothes easy, but bows, not so much,” Lennon said. “I was more worried about my shooting.”
That was her instant reaction when told that her luggage hadn’t arrived: What about the tournament?
“Maybe they’ll find it,” Lennon said. “I was worried right away, like, ‘What am I going to do?’”
While Lennon was able to buy a new quiver and arrows from Lancaster, an archery supply company that has a trailer set up on site in Yankton, finding a bow was a whole other challenge.
Easton Center officials initially borrowed Lennon another bow, but it was too long. That’s when Orlic approached her with the option of using one of her spare bows.
“At the start, I didn’t want to,” Lennon said. “I didn’t want to take one of hers, because what if she needed it?”
And what if Orlic needed it to eventually beat Lennon in a head-to-head competition? That’s another common sight in archery: Helping an opponent.
“There are always issues you hear about people having problems with their bows during a competition,” Scott said. “And sometimes you see people you’re shooting against wanting to help you.”
There are no concerns about what’s going on back home; about whether or not your countries have issues with each other. That’s not a worry at an archery tournament.
After all, it’s the universal language, as archery folks like to say.
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