Olympic Stories

Im Dong-Hyun - Archery

Im Dong-Hyun - Archery

Born on May 12, 1986 in South Korea, Im Dong-Hyun is a Gold-medal-winning archer who will represent his home country in this year’s upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Coming from a place like South Korea, there isn’t a lot of information out about Im, in terms of his life story. However, Im’s career has been impressive and long enough to write a series of novels.

Apart from the multiple Olympic Gold medals and the world records Im holds in archery, what really makes him an impressive athlete is the fact that he is legally blind. With vision of 20/200, Im is what most people would consider too impaired to even hold down a job, much less compete and win on the world’s biggest stage. And as he prepares to enter this year’s Games, Im is a favorite is to take Gold in the single event and also to help proper the Korean team to the podium.

Sporting Career

Dong-Hyun being a legally blind individual has never been an issue with him. It’s something that he has lived with, and thus it would never become an impediment, excuse, or a reason to feel any better about his many successes. Im is used to living this way and has completely adapted to his impaired vision; he refuses to have corrective surgery or to wear any special eyewear. That being said, Dong-Hyun’s career cannot be measured by the handicap he has overcome. He considers himself on equal footing with everyone else, and he consistently proves it.

The world first took notice of Im in 2004 via the Summer Olympic Games in Athens. With a quick impressive performance, setting a world record in the 72-arrow event in the ranking round, Im then went on to win the first three elimination matches. It seemed a lock that Dong-Hyun would take home the gold, but in the quarters he lost by 1 point to Japan’s Hiroshi Yamamoto. However, Dong-Hyun was an instrumental piece of the puzzle for the Korean team as they won the gold as a nation.

Im would correct what he considered to be a mistake at the 2004 Olympics only two short years later. Competing in the 2006 Asian Games with some of the continent’s best archers, Dong-Hyun won two gold medals as an individual competitor. Only 20 at the time, Im’s star was still on the rise.

Dong-Hyun entered the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing on an incredibly high note, but he was quickly knocked back to reality in the ranking round. Scoring a total of 670 points, Im earned the 8th seed and came within a few points of missing out on advancing altogether. Im would make it through the first two rounds with impressive performances, but he would ultimately lose, this time by 2 points, to Vic Wunderle of the USA.

Again, however, Im played a vital role in the South Korean team’s gold medal win, proving that he was amongst the world’s best archers.

Career Highlights

  • 2003 World Championships (Team) – Gold
  • 2003 World Championships (Individual) - Gold
  • 2004 Olympic Games (Team) – Gold
  • 2006 Asian Games (Team, Individual) - Gold
  • 2007 World Championships (Team, Individual) – Gold
  • 2008 Olympic Games (Team) – Gold
  • 2010 Asian Games (Team) – Gold
  • 2011 Universiade (Individual) Gold
  • 2012 Summer Olympics – Bronze (team)

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