Young archer shoots for USA


Ingrid Chan, Staff Writer

Though sophomore Toby Kim started archery only three years ago, his dedication and talent have placed him among the top international youth archers. His participation in the 2016 Junior Olympics in Seoul, Korea is proof of his skills.

”Every year we have to attend at least four national competitions. This year it was in Florida, Alabama, California, and Arizona.  If you placed in the top five, you got to go to Korea and compete internationally. I was fourth. I kind of expected it,” Kim said.

This year’s Junior Olympics took place from July 18 to Aug. 5, during which the USA team finished in second place behind Korea.

Ever since Kim began archery, he took lessons at the HSS Sports Academy and was coached by its two Olympic gold medalists, Seo Hyang Soon and Kim Kyung Wook.

“At the Academy I go to, there’s an elite team with eight members.  We have mandatory team training on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but otherwise we try to shoot for at least three hours every day individually, especially since we were preparing for the Junior Olympics,” Kim said.

In the beginning, Kim picked up archery because he was looking for an interesting sport to play in college. He first tried rock climbing, swimming and soccer before settling on the bow and arrow.

“There’s a program that chooses four archers in the U.S. to attend Columbia University.  They don’t give scholarships to us, but they do guarantee that four will be accepted,” Kim said.

He hopes to qualify for the Columbia Collegiate Archery program selection. In order to meet his goals, Toby intends to continue training in archery throughout high school.

Kim occasionally takes time off school to participate in archery competitions. As of right now, there are several events coming up for him in Irvine, Long Beach and Sacramento.  If he places in the top three for each, Kim will then step out onto the national stage.  State competitions normally only last about three days while national competitions take a week.