Gene Kang '20 on the mark
Every time Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Gene Kang ’20 thinks about quitting archery, something keeps him going.
Whether it’s competing against the nation’s best youth archers or the people within the sport, he isn’t certain. But he’s still involved in the sport that has consumed much of his teenage life, and he’s still among the best in the country for his age group.
Gene added to his trophy and medal collection this summer, placing in the top six at four prestigious events. Interestingly, he took the most out of his poorest finish, placing 61st at the U.S. National Target Championships in July in Raleigh, N.C.
Gene on his performance at the U.S. National Target Championship: “The first day, I didn’t shoot too well. I don’t know what happened. But the second day, I shot really well. I came back mentally strong. I was just short of my goal of where I needed to be but it was a good lesson for me to be able to bounce back like that and persevere through adversity. It was an emotional moment and something I’ll always look back on.”
Gene on sticking with archery over the years: “I’ve tried to quit before but I keep crawling back. I think it’s either the love I have for the sport or there’s something inside of me that wants to compete. It’s hard to quit. Even though quitting would make my life easier, it’s hard from a competitive standpoint to give up on something. Archery is unique. You always see the same people at the national competitions. You build friendships. The people are a great reason why I haven’t quit archery. That sort of community feeling is important to me.”
Gene on his archery future: “I’m in a good place. Going forward I’ll shoot indoors during the winter. That will be good for me. I won’t be trying to make the Olympic team this year, though. I didn’t participate in the first date of trials. But going forward, as I did in the summer, I’ll just take it one step at a time and see where it leads me.”
Below is a list of Gene’s performances from the summer:
· Canadian National Outdoor Target Championships - 6th place
· New Hampshire Outdoor Championship - 2nd place
· Bay State Games Archery Competition - 2nd place
· Nutmeg State Games Archery Tournament - 3rd place
· U.S. National Target Championships - 61st place