Last but not least it’s the Huntsman World Senior Games, in St. George, Utah(http://www.seniorgames.net). Let me start off by saying this, if you are 50 years old or more and didn’t go, you missed out on a wonderful four day Archery event. The American 900 round had about 80 shooters and the 3D had about 50, both nice increases over previous years. So check out their website and sign up for next year.
OK back to the shoot. Let’s just say the weather was nothing like I had planned on or what the weatherman said I would see before I left South Carolina on my trip. So what does that mean? I got cold and wet every day and everyone keeps saying it never rains in St. George. Let me tell you, it hailed and snow fell in the mountains and the sight was just incredibility beautiful!
Now if you want to talk about the who’s’ who of archery, well let me tell you they were there. From the Pearson’s, the Saunder’s, Jake and Arlene Rhode, Ed and Joan Eliason, Larry Anderson, Jerry and Eileen Pylypckuk, just to name a few. This being my first year I was kind of in the dark about the entire event so everything was a surprise to me. At opening ceremonies, they stated we had 64 different countries and over 10,000 people competing. Of course, this included many different events from table tennis to track and field (check out the website for more details). I was floored. I had no clue this event was so large. Then I learned that this year was the 25th anniversary which even made it more special. An example of this would be when they lit the Olympic Torch, it was done by 13 special people, and this wonderful group had attended every year for the past 25 years. Goosebump cool!
Ok back to the shooting. There were four days of Archery and we saw just about every possible shooting condition possible, a cold wind changing every few minutes, rain on all four days, hail on the third day, and finally sun on the last half of the last day. So if someone tells you it never rains in St. George, Utah, bring a rain suit with you anyway.
Bottom line… one hell of an archery experience and I’m going next year even if I have to walk, it’s worth it.
This tournament was a little special to me for one special reason. Ed and Joan Eliason who I met a few years ago invited me into their world and I’ve been so blessed since meeting and becoming friends with them. They invited me to this event and let me stay at their wonderful home along with Larry Anderson from Washington State and Juan Wedel from Costa Rica, both of these guys are longtime friends of the Eliasons. So I was the “Rocky” of the bunch and they let me in. Then there was Jerry Pylypchuk and his wife Eileen who live just around the corner from Ed and Joan, and their guest Mike Gerard and Cory Woolson. Not to mention many others who were at the Huntsman World Senior Games, like I said earlier, the Who’s Who of Archery. By the end of both of the competitions at this tournament, I found myself in second place behind Mike Gerard. Who I found out later has been shooting Archery since he was 13 and coached by Ed Eliason. I tried but Mike was in the ZONE, on all four days.