Airdronian Dawson Molitor’s archery skills were on target Feb. 16 to 19 at the 2018 Alberta Winter Games as he captured gold in the 12-14 Cub Recurve – Male.
Molitor shot some of his best archery during the competition – and his win is all the more impressive as he is relatively new to the sport.
“(I’ve never done) competitions on this scale. I’ve done two smaller ones, but they were put on by individual clubs,” Molitor said, adding he was just excited to go to the Winter Games.
Molitor’s win came by a slim margin, with just four points separating him from the silver-medalist Evan Start out of Sherwood Park, Alta.
“That is not a lot of points,” Molitor said. “You just have to hit the edge of the target.”
In the final match, Molitor and Start were shot for shot, alternating leads and keeping up with one another until Start had one of his arrows jump off of its rest and go below the target. This provided an opening for Molitor to secure a lead.
“I think, ‘Wait. Why did that go under?’ and then I put it out of my head and focus on my own shooting,” Molitor said. “I just breathe deeply, put everything out of my head and shoot.”
The final was the first time Molitor had ever matched up with Start, but he said he could see facing the Sherwood Park athlete at future events.
Although the 13-year-old has been participating in archery for a few years, he only started seriously training for competition in the weeks leading up to the Alberta Winter Games.
“At that point, I was just shooting for fun,” Molitor said. “I didn’t really know (how I would perform), I didn’t know what the competition would be like.
“I was basically going in blind, so I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Molitor said he now trains in Calgary close to five times a week.
His training paid off, and Molitor will be eligible to compete again at the Alberta Winter Games in Airdrie in 2020, where he will move up an age group from Cub to Cadet.
“I’m going to have step up my game a lot if I go back,” Molitor said.