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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, May 18, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsUSVI Archer Advances to 2023 Pan American Games, Aiming For Olympics

USVI Archer Advances to 2023 Pan American Games, Aiming For Olympics

Nicholas D’Amour aims for a shot at the Olympic games. (Source file photo)

There isn’t much free time in the day for Nicholas D’Amour. As soon as the USVI Olympic archer wakes up, the focus switches from slumber to arrows. Hundreds of arrows are shot before the afternoon. Hundreds more are shot before the day is done. That’s what it takes for D’Amour to be one of the world’s greatest archers.

“To anyone out there who has a dream in any sport, just believe in yourself and believe who you are and great things will come,” said D’Amour.

Great things have come from hard work and unwavering discipline for D’Amour. In just the last several years of starting his archery career in 2017, the 21-year-old is globally ranked number seven in the world. He competed in the last Olympic games and recently qualified for the 2023 Pan American games in Santiago, Chile.

“That was a pretty cool moment. I’ve been to the Olympic Games. I’ve been to World Cup Finals for archery, but qualifying for the Pan Am games was a big goal for me for a long time. Especially since last time around, I wasn’t able to qualify. I made a big jump in 2020, 2021 during the pandemic. I made a big jump in my training and performance. So that was a special moment,” D’Amour said of qualifying for the 2023 Pan American games.

D’Amour says his daily training includes shooting anywhere from five to six hundred arrows for eight to 10 hours a day. His heavy training goes hand in hand with a busy competition schedule. Before the 2023 Pan American games take place (Oct. 20 to Nov. 5), he has a packed schedule of international competitions in countries that include Turkey, England, Germany, France and more.

“I got a full season next year full of World Cups, European Grand Prix, and lots of different competitions next year that have to be prepared for so the training doesn’t stop. It’s a non-stop cycle of train and compete. I have indoor competitions coming up in a month. So even in the wintertime, we’re still competing,” said D’Amour.

D’Amour’s success has helped grow the Virgin Islands Archery Federation, creating excitement and inspiring young archers to join the sport. President of the Virgin Islands Archery Federation Kevin D’Amour says both St. Thomas and St. Croix have over a dozen archers practicing at facilities throughout the week, with several traveling to international competitions.

“Yes, younger folks are coming through that portal. I think we’re going to see more of that in the coming years,” said Kevin D’Amour.

The St. Thomas Archery Club is located at the field at Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School. Bruce Arnold, who manages the club and operations, says they meet several times a week.

“We are thankful we do have equipment to loan out to people free of charge. So we’re really thankful to have that setup,” said Arnold.

Nicholas D’Amour says qualifying for the Olympics next year is a priority. The 2023 Pan American games are also an Olympic qualifier. If he qualifies, he’ll be at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“All the credit goes to him. The kid is incredibly focused. He’s incredibly desirous of doing well. So at the end of the day, it’s his dedication to the sport and the amount of time he spends at it,” said Kevin D’Amour, who is also Nicholas’ father.

Time and dedication are what it takes for D’Amour to reach the highest heights in archery. His biggest goal now isn’t just reaching the 2024 Olympics. He says it’s winning an Olympic gold medal for the U.S. Virgin Islands in Paris.

“What’s made me most successful is that I believe in myself, and have a lot of self-confidence. I have a great coach. I have a great team behind me at the Virgin Islands Archery Federation and Olympic Committee. And I just continue to work hard and results follow,” D’Amour said.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Nicholas D’Amour’s last name. It is D’Amour, not D’Armour.

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