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Daily Dose: Yankton Has Plenty Of Olympic Archery Connections

How cool would it be if these things happened in our little town?

Gabby Douglas training at River City Gymnastics. Ryan Lochte swimming at the Summit Center pool. Justin Gatlin running at the Williams Field track.

That’d be awesome, right?

Well, what if I added ‘Mackenzie Brown shooting arrows at targets in Yankton’? That’s probably not a name you recognize.

But that one has actually happened. And it’s what makes Yankton unique in the world of Olympic sports. We’ve actually had past and future Olympians compete in our town.

The United States will send four archers to the 2016 Olympic Games later this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and all four have at some point competed at a tournament in Yankton. While archery isn’t one of those ‘watch in primetime’ events during the Olympics, it’s still pretty cool. And it goes to show where our town stands on the international radar.

Brown, the only female on the United States team, will be joined by a three-person men’s team that consists of Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski and Zach Garrett. Those aren’t household names like Ryan Lochte (or probably most notably, Michael Phelps) or Gabby Douglas, but in the world of archery, they’re well-known.

Two of those archers, Brown and Garrett, were most recently in Yankton last summer for the World Archery Youth Championships. You likely remember hearing about that event. They both competed on the big stage during the medal matches, and at the time, were focused on trying to qualify for the Olympic team.

Mission accomplished, as was the case with Ellison and Kaminski – both of whom were, for example, in Yankton for the 2011 U.S. National Target Championships, among other visits.

Whether or not you plan to watch or follow any of the archery coverage during the Olympics in August, it’s worth your time to at least be a little proud of your town. You’ve heard me say this many times before, but archery – not anything else – is what Yankton is known for on international radars. On a national scale, it would be the Missouri River, or Gavins Point Dam, or perhaps the federal prison camp, but globally (and in an athletics sense), we’re synonymous with archery.

And that, to me, is pretty cool.

Originally published in the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan 6/16/16 by Jeremy Hoeck.