Sayana Tsyrempilova doesn’t need a translator.
What she intends to say comes across rather clearly in English.
Although the 24-year-old from the Russian Federation isn’t all that familiar with the United States and the cultural differences from her home country, she’s comfortable enough to clearly explain what she thinks.
“It’s nice to see the city has a big center like this,” she said Friday from the World Archery Indoor Championships, which are being held at the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center.
“We don’t have anything like this back home.”
And unlike many archers at the week-long tournament (it concludes Monday), Tsyrempilova has plenty of teammates to share the experience with.
The Russian Federation sent 15 archers to Yankton, which — according to the entry lists — ranks as the fourth-most among all of the countries: The United States leads the way with 24, followed by Mexico (20) and Italy (18).
With so many teammates who routinely travel together around the world, they naturally become close, Tsyrempilova said.
“Of course,” she said, with a smile. “They’re my friends and my family.”
Tsyrempilova, in particular, has traveled to more than 20 countries throughout her young career, she said. It took some time at the start of her career, however, for her to develop a passion for archery, she said.
Her family lived next door to an archery coach, who eventually tried to convince Tsyrempilova’s mother that her daughter should give the sport a try.
“She talked to my mom and said, ‘Let’s get her into this,’” Tsyrempilova said.
As many new archers describe, there was some initial pain involved, she added.
“I hated it at first,” Tsyrempilova said. “I would get bruises on my left arm every time. At some point after I started, I fell in love with it.”
And by the age of 16, she captured a silver medal at the 2009 World Archery Youth Championships in Utah.
Tsyrempilova’s teammate, Tuiana Dashidorzhieva, has also found success in the archery world. She turned an appearance in the 2015 World Archery Youth Championships in Yankton into a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
The adrenaline boost an archer gets on a big stage like a world championship or the Olympics heightens the excitement, the 21-year-old Dashidorzhieva said.
“You get a rush,” she said, through translation from a teammate. “That really inspires me to shoot better when I have that feeling.”
By lunch time Friday, Dashidorzhieva had already lost in her individual bracket but said she hopes to lead her team to a gold medal.
Which, the archers said, would be a significant achievement for their country, considering archery is not a popular sport in the Russian Federation, according to 24-year-old Elena Osipova.
“We don’t hunt back home like people in the United States or other places do,” she said Friday.
Like Tsyrempilova, Osipova got her start in the sport through persuasion.
“The coach came to our school to promote archery,” Osipova said, through translation help. “So I thought, ‘why not try it?’”
She realized at the young age of 15 that archery was going to be a sport she would enjoy, Osipova said.
“It’s very unusual, so that’s why I like it,” she said.
Osipova said she also realized early on in her career that archery presented unique opportunities for her to see the world.
“I like to travel,” she said. “It opens up your mind to other cultures.”
International archers, she said, get to experience different foods, different people, different languages. And for those visiting the United States, it allows them the chance to see a culture they would have only seen on television.
The vision Osipova said she had of the United States for the most part, she said with a smile, is ringing true while she’s been in Yankton — as far as what they’ve seen on TV about the scenery, etc.
“It looks a bit like the movies,” Osipova said.
Action continues today (Saturday) at the World Archery Indoor Championships beginning with match play at 9:10 a.m. The event is open to the public for viewing.
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