COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Army News Service, May 19, 2011) -- Wednesday's events at the 2011 Warrior Games began with the Archery Ranking Round, where Staff Sgt. Curtis Winston was one of three Army recurve bow shooters to move on to the finals.
Winston, based out of Fort Belvoir, Va., was a little disappointed in his performance, but grateful to have made it to the finals.
"I didn't do as well as I wanted to, but I made it to the next round," he said. "My score was 422."
The archery preliminaries were held at Sports Center I, Olympic Training Center in the gym. Archers lined up facing a row of targets at a distance of 18 meters. Competitors had a total of four minutes to shoot six arrows. Once everyone had shot, the archers went to their targets to retrieve arrows and calculate their score.
Only the top eight archers from both recurve and compound bow competitions make it to the next round; 16 athletes total shot in the recurve preliminaries and 20 in the compound.
"I was a little nervous at first," Winston said when asked about the other competitors. "Medaling last year, I wanted to make it out this year, so it was a little nerve-wracking at first, but I made it out."
Last year, Winston's first time competing in the Warrior Games, he took the silver.
Winston entered the Army in 2002. After basic training, he deployed to Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division. On his third deployment there, he was injured by an improvised explosive device. He believes archery has helped him with his recovery.
He is excited to be at the Games this year as well.
"Just like any sporting event, it's getting better every year," Winston said. "Last year was good, this year was even better."
Dwight Hayes, an Army veteran, was competing in archery for the Special Operations team. Hayes entered the Army in 1967 and has been shooting the compound bow for about a year. Although he did not move on to the next round, he considers it a valuable experience.
Hayes said the best part of being at the Games was getting to meet other servicemembers and reuniting with old friends.
Archery finals were scheduled for Thursday morning.
The Warrior Games, a joint effort between the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Department of Defense, is sponsored by Deloitte. For a complete competition schedule or list of event results, please visit www.usparalympics.org/warriorgames.