One World United – 2015 WAYC Opening Cermony

Photo taken by Kelly Hertz/Press & Dakotan
Photo taken by Kelly Hertz/Press & Dakotan

The 2015 World Archery Youth Championships (WAYC) officially kicked-off the week-long competition Sunday evening – and it was one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

The little knowledge I have of the archery sport (outside of two-weeks in my 9th grade P.E. class) I’ve acquired in the 3 and 1/2 short weeks I have been in Yankton. Leading up to the opening ceremony, I’ve covered countless aspects of organizer and community efforts’ to pull off an event of this magnitude. I’ve been ready for this event to be underway for quite some time.

Sunday, as I stood with my media vest on next to hundreds of archers/coaches/officials, I got to experience something I never imagined would have given me goosebumps.

Maybe it was the Parade of Nations-where community volunteers and city safety and rescue officials formed a line of the 52 country’s flags. Maybe it was the South Dakota National Guard band who sang contemporary songs popular to the world’s youth. Perhaps it was Amanda Payne of The One Arm Bandit & Company and her performing buffalo.

While each of these attributes combined to make a special and memorable ceremony, it was something much greater that I will never forget.

Members from the Osni Ponca Heduska Society Native American group wore their native, traditional dress and shared with the world song and dance. The group sang a welcome song and one blessing archery, the sport that connects the international archers with the Native’s history.

But the group wasn’t finished yet – they had plans to unite the world together. The group invited the archers to join in dance, forming something similar to a massive conga line. At first, archers slowly and a bit shyly approached the center of the outdoor stage. The spark caught rapid fire, the remainder of archer’s running to be a part the dance.

One member of the Native group led the line, a sea of international archers just behind.

It was one world united at the opening ceremony in the small community of Yankton, South Dakota.

Despite world conflicts, the 52 country’s youth archers and Native group sent a message to the world.

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Speed Bio: Fiona Maude – Team Canada

Fiona Maude waits for her remainder of her Canadian team at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport on Saturday.
Fiona Maude waits for the remainder of her Canadian team at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport on Saturday.

Name: Fiona Maude, age 17

Country: Canada

City: Ontario: Pop – 13.6 mil

# from country: 14

Division: Compound Cadet

# of WAYC: First


P&D: Have you been to the United States before? 

Maude: Yes – I was here last summer and shot in Yankton at competiitons before.

P&D: What other tournaments have you competed in at the Yankton complex? 

Maude: I went to the IFAA World Field in August 2014 and received a bronsz medal.

P&D: What did you think when you heard the WAYC was going to be held at the Yankton complex, where you’ve already competed?

Maude: I thought it was great because I’ve been there and it has given me a sense of comfort.

P&D: What do you think of the complex? 

Maude: It’s amazing. There’s everything there-the indoor range, the practice ranges, field course and hotels nearby. It’s perfect.

P&D: What was the qualification to get here?

Maude: I had to shoot two 6 60’s or higher out of 720. I submitted my score that was higher than that at trials in Windsor, Canada.

P&D: How long have you been shooting and how did you get into the sport? 

Maude: 3 and 1/2 years. I tried archery in vacation once at a resort in the Dominican Republic and I fell in love with it and continued when I got home.

P&D: What does your family think of your interest in and love of the sport? 

Maude: They think it’s great because it’s different. I’m the first and only in the family who shoots.

P&D: Are you looking forward to meeting the international archers? 

Maude: I actually know a lot of the U.S. girls, so we’ve become pretty close friends because of competitions we’ve competed together in Yankton, Vegas, and Kentucky.

Speed Bio: Lauriane Lalonde – Team Canada

canada
Lauriane Lalonde just after her flight arrived at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport on Saturday afternoon.

Name: Lauriane Lalonde, age 16

Country: Canada

City: Quebec: Pop – 8.2 mil

# from country: 14

Division: Recurve Cadet

# of WAYC: First


P&D: Have you been to the United States before? 

Lalonde: Yes – three times, but this is my first time in South Dakota.

P&D: What did you think when you heard the WAYC was going to be held in the United States?

Lalonde: The last year the WAYC was held was in China, so I’m really glad my first time isn’t that far from where I live.

P&D: What was the qualification to get here?

Lalonde: Honestly I didn’t know I had qualified. I shot the score that was required and 3 months or so ago my coach said, ‘you know, you’ve qualified for the World Championships?’ I wasn’t planning on going and it just happened.

P&D: How did your training change when you realized you had qualified for the WAYC?

Lalonde: I started going to the gym to get more back muscles, but it didn’t change much. I’m always shooting like I’m going for competition. I’m always ready for an event.

P&D: How long have you been shooting and how did you get into the sport? 

Lalonde: Almost 5 years. My brother was shooting before and when I saw him doing competitions I fell in love with the sport and I wanted to compete just like him.

P&D: Do you plan to partake in some of the evening cultural activities?

Lalonde: Of course I will. I think it’s great that they organized this so we can get in touch easily.

P&D: Are you looking forward to meeting international archers? 

Lalonde: I’m excited to have friends from all around the world who do the same thing as me. It’s pretty cool.

P&D: What do you hope to get out of this tournament?

Lalonde: I just want to do my best. I want to have the form and technique I know I can achieve and make some new friends along the way.