Ku Bonchan says life hasn’t changed since Olympic title
Ku Bonchan won gold in the recurve men’s individual competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Just a few month’s later, he’s travelling around Europe giving seminars with the company that manufacture the bows he uses, Win&Win. Archers from countries far from Korea, Ku’s home, have the opportunity to glean whatever wisdom they can from a young man – only 23 years old – who’s climbed the biggest podium in international archery.
“I tell them to be confident,” said Ku. “Because the outcome of the competition can be determined by how much you trust yourself when you meet your opponent in a match. There is no big gap between archers.”
Ku added that he hoped people left his talks understanding the importance of keeping a positive mind and looking to the future, rather than speculating on the past.
His recent past, though, is one worth remembering.
After qualifying sixth in Rio, Ku made it through two consecutive shoot-offs in the quarter- and semifinals of matchplay to advance to the gold medal match. The first tiebreaker was against Australia’s Taylor Worth, the second versus Brady Ellison from the States.
Ku thought he had won the final in straight sets, but one of his opponent’s arrows was upgraded, and JC Valladont secured the second set point he needed to keep the match alive. Valladont won the fourth, to put the score to 3-5 – but Ku came through in the fifth to win Olympic gold, 7-3.
“My life after Rio has not changed at all. Of course, I am extremely happy that I got a gold medal but for me it is like stairs that I have to go up step by step. I believe there are still many stairs ahead of me,” Ku said.
“I will never stop and I will do my best to be remembered as the best archer in the world.”
Win&Win is a gold associate of World Archery.