Do Olympic archers need perfect vision?

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South Korean archer Im Dong-hyun, who is legally blind, set a world record at the 2012 London Olympics by scoring 699 points out of a possible 720 in the men’s event. He has 20/200 vision in his left eye and 20/100 in his right eye, but he does not like to be referred to as disabled. He won a bronze medal as part of the South Korean team.

A legally blind South Korean archer captured the first world record of the London Olympics in 2012. At the age of 26, Im Dong-hyun scored 699 points out of a possible 720 in the first round of the men’s event, surpassing his own mark of 72 arrows. Im Dong-hyun has 20/200 vision in his left eye, which means he has to be 10 times closer to see an object than someone with perfect 20/20 vision. He has 20/100 vision in his right eye. I say that wearing glasses makes him uncomfortable. He says it “is based on distinguishing between the bright colors on the target,” which has rings of yellow, red, blue and black. “If you couldn’t see the colors, that would be a problem now,” he joked.

Seeing that shot is believing:

Im Dong-hyun was the 16th seed after the ranking round, but was eliminated in the round of 16, settling for a bronze medal as part of the South Korean squad.
Archers aim their arrows at a target that is 70 meters (230 feet) away, quite a feat for someone who struggles to see the print in a newspaper.
I prefer to downplay his short-sightedness. “It’s unfortunate when people say I’m disabled,” she said. “All this interest in my eyesight is not welcome.”

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