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5 things to know about archery

Friday - 8/3/2012, 1:00pm  ET

By The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) - So you don't know a crossbow from a rainbow? Here's a crash course on archery, which is having a huge spike in popularity during the London Olympics:

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THEY'RE HOW FAR?: For the Olympics, competitors stand at a line 70 meters _ about 230 feet or 76 yards _ from the target and use a bow to shoot their arrows. The closer they get to the grapefruit-size yellow center _ the bull's-eye, or just bull in archery talk _ the higher the score. The target is made up of 10 evenly spaced rings. Hitting the center is worth 10 points, the first outer ring 9, etc ...

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WHO DOMINATES?: South Korea, for the most part. Archery was out of the Olympics for 52 years, but since it returned in 1972, the South Koreans have dominated like no one else.

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AMERICANS FARED?: The London Games were a breakthrough for the U.S. The trio of Brady Ellison, Jacob Wukie and Jake Kaminski won the silver medal in the men's team event. It was USA Archery's first Olympic medal since 2000, and the first medal won by the U.S. Olympic team at the London Games.

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TEAM HOLLYWOOD?: No question, USA Archery has seen a boost from having its sport mentioned in pop culture of late, particularly in "The Hunger Games," the 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins that was turned into a film featuring Jennifer Lawrence. To prepare for the role of Katniss Everdeen, Lawrence trained for 15 days with Khatuna Lorig, who represented the U.S. in the women's events at the London Games.

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GRASS-ROOTS EFFORTS: Trying to get kids involved, the National Field Archery Association has come up with ASAP _ the After School Archery Program. As kids progress as archers, they win patches, with the hope that they will eventually want to make archery a lifelong sport. Officials say 1.5 million American children have been exposed to archery through that program and others in recent years.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)