The 2012 London Olympic Games opening ceremonies will be held Friday, but athletes have already started competing in events. One such athlete is Im Dong-hyun an archer from South Korea. On Friday, Dong-hyun set a world record, the first of the Olympics, in archery. The new record broke his own now old world record. Setting any world record is impressive. However, what makes this world record even more impressive is that Dong-hyun is legally blind.
Hong-hyun’ new world record helped his team to a team record during Friday’s ranking round. He broke his own record he had set in May at a competition in Turkey. The new record is 699, breaking the old one by just three points. He told reporters after the day’s competition that he would not get overly excited about the record since it was just the preliminary rounds and the first day of competition. The South Korean has about 10% vision from his left eye and 20% from his left. He combined with two teammates in smashing a record of 2,087 for 216 arrows. That was 18 higher that the team set back in May in Turkey.
The 26-year old archer said that when looking at the targets, he can see colors with the lines blurred between them. He does not wear any glasses during competition, saying that he relies on distinguishing between the different bright colors contained in the target.
In the team event, he won gold medals during the Beijing Games in 2008 and the Athens Games in 2004.