BY JEREMY HOECK
Time and again, you’ve heard me talk about – or read about – how fortunate Yankton is to have the World Archery Youth Championships (WAYC) coming to our city next week.
And while making that point, for as valid as it is, can run its course, I’m trying to find new ways to put into perspective exactly how lucky we are.
A year ago when it was announced that Yankton won the 2015 WAYC bid, there was a dual sense of ‘Seriously?’ Not only did our town land such a prestigious event, but we beat out Mexico City for the bid.
Yes, Mexico City, with its population of nearly nine million people.
With that number in mind, I spent a few minutes Tuesday researching the history of the WAYC, which held its first tournament in 1991. As the biennial (every two years) tournament has evolved, its host locations have progressively gotten larger . Twice before has the event come to the United States, to Chula Vista, California, in 1996 and Ogden, Utah, in 2009.
Consider the recent and upcoming locations:
* The 2006 WAYC was held in Merida, Mexico. Population: 970,000.
* 2008 was held in Antalya, Turkey. Population: 1.1 million.
* 2009 (breaking the biennial format) was held in Ogden, Utah, which has a metro population (near Salt Lake City) of 547,000.
* 2011 was held in Legnica, Poland. Population: 102,000.
* 2013 was held in Wuxi, China. Population: 6.3 million.
* The 2015 bid was given to Yankton, South Dakota. Population: 14,591.
* The 2017 WAYC will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Population: 2.9 million.
Those numbers alone should tell the story, but I’ll repeat my common line: Yankton, believe it or not, is on the international map for something. Every city wants to boast that it’s unique in something; that it is special.
For Yankton, that’s archery. There’s absolutely no question about it; that’s not up for debate. It’s not the river. It’s not the lakes. It’s archery. And we’ve vaulted ourselves onto international radars in that sport just within the last 8-9 years.
The facilities we boast in Yankton and our city’s experience hosting international archery tournaments was a key reason World Archery awarded this town the 2015 WAYC bid.
It’s something we should all embrace.