By Mary Beth Walker
Archer Kevin Evans is a straight shooter when it comes to talking about the introduction of the open compound category of archery at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games this September – he couldn’t be more enthusiastic.
"I am very excited about being a part of a new category in the Paralympics and hope that everyone out there will see how great this division is and hopefully this will also be a new category for the Olympics in 2012," said Evans. "Canada has some very talented archers in this division with three world champions in the last two years – not to many countries can say that."
In 2006, Doris Jones won the Junior Female World Champion; in 2007, Dietmar Trillus won the Male World Champion; and in 2007, Evans won the IPC Male World Champion.
Evans has been involved in archery for almost 25 years. Eight years ago, he lost an arm in an industrial accident.
Shooting a bow was one of the first things he can remember wanting to do following the accident. He used archery to help in his recovery, and began competing shortly after.
His passion for archery was sparked when he hunted, but he says his enthusiasm for the sport of archery continues to grow with each competition.
"My goal for Beijing is to do the best that I can, and be happy with wherever I finish," said Evans. "I have been competing for the last five years and making it this far has already been a dream come true. Finishing on the podium would be the icing on the cake."
Evans earned his spot on the Canadian team going to Beijing at the 2008 Federation of Canadian Archers (FCA) team trials, held May 31 to June 2, 2008 at Woodlands Park in Toronto, in conjunction with the Ontario Spring Classic.
He shot against Bob Hudson (Leoville, SK) and Robert Cox (Winnipeg, MB) in a competition that was so close that trials points were tied right down to the final three arrows. In the process, Evans shot an unofficial IPC world record for the round with a score of 118.
Canada earned the right to have an archer compete in Beijing in the open compound division at the World IPC championships in Korea last September thanks to Evans who won the gold medal in that competition.
Beijing will be his first Paralympic Games, and China holds a special interest for Evans.
Going to Beijing will give him an opportunity to see where his grandparents came from. Also, he is looking forward to bringing his family along with him. He normally attends most international competitions on his own.
He has been preparing for Beijing by continually participating in high-level competitions and will continue to do so leading up to the Games.
Before he lands in Beijing, he is set to compete in France, Great Britain and the United States.
Evans will be joined at the Beijing Games by two other Canadian archers: Lyne Tremblay, of Magog, QC, in the ARW2 women’s recurve division, and Norbert Murphy, of Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC, in the ARW1 men’s compound division.