Out Of Sight: Blind Archery Champion Stops In Fresno
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) —
"Once I'm sighted in, it's up to me to perform that shot," Janice Walth said as she grabbed her bow, shot the arrow and hit a bulls-eye.
"It is hard. But it's a good hard, it's a challenge. And when you do it right, it just feels so good," Walth said.
Archery is by no means an easy sport; trying to pull the arrow back, position it just right and focus enough to hit a tiny yellow circle 20 yards away.
But imagine if you couldn't see anything while you were aiming.
"I've been legally blind since birth," Walth said. "I wanted to know what it felt like to shoot a bow and hear it hit the target. I just wanted to try it out."
So, she Googled it. And now, being blind is no barrier on her ability to hit the bulls-eye.
"Put my feet against these two areas. Now I know that I'm lined up to the target," she said, placing her feet perfectly on the ground. "When I raise my bow, I touch the back of my hand to this right here. And when you draw back your bow, you have to anchor on your face, put that string in the same place every time. Then you complete your shot and it goes down and hits."
A special guest at Break the Barriers in Northeast Fresno, Janice is an inspiration to a sport that's recently seen a spike in popularity. Break the Barrier employees attribute the rise to The Hunger Games movie.
Valley veterans also recently started training at Break the Barriers twice a week. Some of them will soon be heading to national competitions.
Janice Walth currently holds all of the women's world archery records for the visually impaired.
She's also won the silver and bronze medals at the Paralympic World Championships.