BY JEREMY HOECK
Ugur Erdener regularly travels around the world visiting archery tournaments.
He has seen events held in cities with populations ranging from hundreds of thousands on up to millions.
But for a short time this weekend, the president of the World Archery Federation got an up-close look at the World Archery Youth Championships (WAYC) in Yankton, with a population of just under 15,000 residents.
The president’s impression?
“I talked with some of our athletes, and I’m very happy that they are happy to be here,” Erdener said Sunday, shortly after the final closing ceremony.
“They got a very warm welcome from everybody here. That is very good.”
Erdener, who also serves as the president of the National Olympic Committee in his native Turkey, was one of a handful of archery dignitaries to receive a tour of the Yankton complex on Sunday. Bruce Cull, the president of the National Field Archery Association, showed the officials – from World Archery and Greg Easton, president of Easton Foundations – around the sprawling complex.
A popular sight on the tour was likely the many yellow shirts worn by the 612 volunteers who helped out with the WAYC – a “huge contribution for this event,” Erdener said.
“Their impression, our impression too, is really good,” the president said. “I would like to thank the organizing committee, especially Bruce Cull and his team.”
As part of Sunday evening’s closing ceremony, Erdener symbolically handed over a World Archery flag to an official from Argentina, which will host the next WAYC, in 2017.
Yankton, the president said, made a positive impression on the group from World Archery.
“We had a really successful event here,” Erdener said. “I would like to thank everybody who contributed something to this event.”