Favorite to Win Archery Gold Is Legally Blind
Target colors blend together for Im Dong-Hyun
By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2012 9:16 AM CDT
South Korean archer Im Dong-hyun lines up a shot during the men's team competition where he won gold at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, Monday, Nov. 22, 2010.    (AP Photo/Greg Baker)

(Newser) – Katniss Everdeen has nothing on this archer: South Korea's Im Dong-Hyun already has two Olympic golds under his belt, and he's been tapped as a favorite to win another in London, despite the fact that he's legally blind, reports the Telegraph. The 26-year-old has 20/200 vision in his right eye, meaning he needs to be 10 times closer to something—say, an archery target—to see it as clearly as someone with perfect vision. His left eye isn't much better at 20/100. But Im isn't too keen on the attention his vision is getting.

"I don't have a stick, I don't have a blind dog," Im said after a recent practice session. "It's unpleasant when people say I'm disabled. All this interest in my sight is not welcome." Im explains that his eyesight makes the colors of the target blend together, but that wearing glasses makes him feel less confident. Instead, he prefers to rely on his senses and ability to spot bright colors when firing his arrows. (Click to read about another Olympic target shooter who's making waves.)

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Jul 27, 2012 1:33 AM CDT
Now that's an hombre.
Jul 26, 2012 4:40 PM CDT
While stationed in Japan with the Marines many decades ago, I shot against a gentleman who wore a blindfold. Said he used Zen to hit target. I'm not great, but not bad either, but after the third time he beat me, I quit... and offered to buy him a beer. After several beers, we tried again and I beat him without a problem. Chalk one up for beer!
Jul 26, 2012 2:05 PM CDT
I have an acquaintance who is legally blind who can bowl a perfect game.