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Blind Archer Sets First World Record of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games

Im Dong Hyun
Paul Gilham, Getty Images

Thanks to South Korean archer Im Dong-hyun the first world record and the first moving human interest story of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London has come before the Games of the XXX Olympiad have even officially begun.

In the preliminary round of the individual archery competition, Dong-hyun broke his own 72 arrow world record. He, along with Kim Bub-min and Oh Jin-hyek, also broke the world mark for a team score, which they had set earlier this year.

While re-breaking your own records in non-medal rounds of fairly obscure Olympic events isn’t typically all that exciting, what makes Hyun and his achievement so extraordinary is that he is blind. Yes, there is currently a blind man in London armed with a bow and arrow.

Hyun could probably offset some of the myopia that has rendered his left eye 20/200 with surgery or corrective eye-wear. However, he is so used to shooting through “feel” that he doesn’t believe he needs to, even though all he can see of the target is blurry colors.

As the Olympics progress, we will surely hear more stories of athletles who’ve overcome the odds. But it will be tough to top the guy who shoots arrows at targets he can’t even see.

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