OLYMPIC ZONE: World’s Largest Archery Facility Makes Yankton The Sport’s Target Destination

Most Olympians expected to attend World Archery Championships & Cup in Yankton in September
Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 11:23 PM CDT
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YANKTON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A bronze and silver medalist in the 2000 games in Sydney, Vic Wunderle knows what every Olympic archer is feeling today.

“It’s fun! It’s exciting! It’s a lot of pressure trying to be the best in the world and it’s certainly a great honor to be able to represent all of the people at home that have done so much to help get you there.” Wunderle says.

And Wunderle knew the place to settle to continue being involved in archery and seeing the best in the world.

“Pretty much ever Olympian that has been involved at some level, at some time, has been here for one of the difference discipline tournaments we have.” NFAA Foundation President Bruce Cull says.

“And I came out here for many of those events early on and was competing in them. That’s what drew me to Yankton, that’s what allowed me to see what a special place that Yankton, South Dakota is.” Wunderle says.

Opened in 2009, with additions built on since, the National Field Archery Association’s Yankton Center is the largest in the world, and has been large a financial boon to the community.

“I don’t even know how many people even understood the term ‘sports tourism’. We have an interesting little niche sport. A lot of people go ‘oh yeah, that’s archery’. And I think quickly they see just how big that becomes when you bring in thousands and thousands of people and spend millions and millions of dollars.” Cull says.

Along with attracting people from all over the globe, it’s helped increased interest in the sport locally, with Wunderle coaching Mount Marty’s archery team and frequently giving lessons.

“You never know when you walk in here on any given day which one of these kids walking in, just to shoot archery for the first time, ten years from now one of them could be in the Olympic games. We don’t know, it always starts somewhere!” Wunderle says.

South Dakotans will likely be seeing the this year’s Olympians soon with Yankton hosting the World Archery Cup and Championships September 19th through the 26th.

“And that’s where they actually compete for a lot of money and for archery it’s their biggest event. One has never been held in the United States. The other one has only been held (in the United States) a couple of other times and years, decades ago.” Cull says.

“To have an event of this caliber, in a town this small, is unheard of. We can watch the best of the best and it’s very, very exciting!” Wunderle says.

More proof that Yankton is archery’s target destination.

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