Competition at the Highest Levels



Archery was the very first Paralympic sport, played in the earliest games at Stoke Mandeville in 1948, and it has been a medal sport since the official Paralympic Games began in 1960.

Just as in the Olympic Games, the archers shoot from 70 meters away at a target with ten scoring zones. A perfect score: 720.

Paola Fantato of Italy is the most-winning Paralympic archer with five gold medals, one silver and two bronze. She competed in five Paralympic Games and also in the 1996 Olympics.

Today’s new technologies allow athletes with a range of disabilities to compete, providing exciting variety to the sport. Individuals and teams shoot either standing or from a wheelchair, using compound or recurve bows.

Top Contenders:
• China won the most gold medals at the 2008 Paralympic Games.
• In 1984 America's Susan Hagel took home a gold, the first individual women's medal for the US in Paralympic archery. She had previously medaled in team archery and pairs dartchery, a combination of darts and archery that is no longer a Paralympic sport (1976), and she would go on to medal in wheelchair basketball (1988 and 1996).
• America’s Jeff Fabry also took home bronze in 2008. Fabry, who is missing parts of his right arm and leg, uses his teeth to draw his compound bow. He broke records at the 2009 World Championships, helped earn a team silver in 2011, and is aiming for gold in 2012.
• U.S. military veteran Russell Wolfe (recurve) won bronze at the 2011 Parapan American Games and is also focused on reaching the podium in London.

Paralympics 2012 Competition: Aug. 30 – Sept. 5

Athlete Classifications

Archery is open to all athletes with physical disabilities, divided into three classes:

Class Disability


Athletes with impairment in all four limbs.


Athletes who use a wheelchair but have full arm function.

ARST (standing)

Athletes with full arm function, but some disability in their legs. Athletes can sit on a stool for support as long as their feet touch the ground.

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