From THE LEICA CAMERA BLOG
Born in Bristol, UK, Larry Godfrey is a British athlete who has been competing in archery for the past 26 years and is currently on the GB Archery team. Larry uses a range of Leica products, due to their accuracy and robust construction, and here we interview him and find out what it takes to become an Olympic athlete. He also gives us an insight into his preparation for London 2012.
April was the month where my dreams started to turn into reality. Three weekends decided the Olympic team for 2012. I had a very productive winter training season, working on fine tuning my equipment and technique. During this period I shot some world class scores, which fuelled my confidence and gave me great hope for the Olympics.
I started the first weekend with strength and confidence and this worked like a dream. I finished the weekend in first place and shot new personal best scores. I had a comfortable lead going into the second shoot off, but had to keep my level high to maintain my position. The weather on this weekend was a challenge: high winds and cold temperatures. Again I shot outstanding and maintained my first position. The third and final weekend was even worse weather than before! This didn’t rock me one bit and I finished the qualification in first position.
Men – Larry Godfrey 6518.40, Simon Terry 6485.40, Alan Wills 6254.60, Michael Peart 6211.00.
I am overjoyed that I have qualified for my third Olympic Games and love the fact that it will be on my home soil. What an honour to represent my country! I have worked very hard for this year’s games and am in the best form of my life. I believe I will be at the perfect level to realistically compete for the medals.
ORIGINAL INTERVIEW FROM 2011:
Q: How long have you been competing in Archery?
A: 26 years, with a small International break for a couple of years while I completed my HND in Mechanical Engineering.
Q: How much training/practice do you do on an average week?
A: On average, 28 hours shooting per week.
Q: Which Leica products do you use?
A: I own a Leica APO-Televid 62 spotting scope (angled lens). I bought this as a present for myself for making the 2004 GB Olympic Team. With this, I have a Leica Vario-Ocular B 16-48x eyepiece, supplied by Leica in 2004, and replaced in 2008 after a nasty accident of my scope falling in high winds onto a cement shooting line….Ouch! I am soon to start using an APO-Televid 82 with 25-50ww eyepiece. I also use a Leica Trica 1 carbon fibre tripod and DH1 Fluid Head, which have been kindly loaned to me from Leica Camera Ltd to assist me in the London Olympics 2012. I also have a Leica Pinmaster, to assist with accuracy and training.
Q: What made you choose Leica products? How have these helped you?
A: Because of the superb build quality, image focus, and perfect vision no matter the lighting conditions. The Leica products I have chosen came out top of my list when I completed my research of premium manufacturers. In my Olympic sport there is no room for poor sight or vision when spotting my arrows. Leica delivers every time, in every weather condition that I have experienced all over the world, from the United States to Australia. As mentioned before, I shoot in all conditions including high winds. The Trica 1 delivers a perfect base for my Televid scope. The light weight is also a winner as I am limited to the amount of luggage I can take travelling. The one single word I would use for my Leica product set-up is ‘beautiful’!
Q: You recently became a European world record holder. What preparation did you do for this? Can you tell us more about this?
A: I have been working very hard in my preparation for the London 2012 Olympics, and at the World Championships in Turin, Italy 2011, it started paying off. After the morning session at 90m distance, I shot a NEW European Record and was ranked no.1 with a score of 329 (previous record 327). I put a lot of effort into training in the gym and shooting technique changes during my winter season. Also the reliability and setting up of my bow helped me to achieve the record. I finished the world’s 8th Individual and also brought home a Bronze Medal in the Mixed Team event.
A: I am on my 52nd cap for Great Britain.
Q: In which countries have you competed?
A: USA, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland, Finland, Turkey, Belgium, Greece, Korea, Croatia, El Salvador, China, Dominican Republic, Australia, India and Great Britain.
Q: What inspires you to be the best?
A: I enjoy hard work and seeing the rewards, I strive for the perfect shot and repeating the perfect shot.
Q: Can you tell us more about what you’ll be doing in the Olympics next year?
A: Initially, I will have the Olympic trials in April 2012, which comprise three weekend shoot-offs. The top three will be selected for the Olympic Team. During the Olympics, I will be competing in the Individual Event and the Men’s Team Event.
Less than a year to go to the Olympics and it’s been a great 2011 preparation. Competitions have been a great improvement on last year and I am very happy with the progression. After the Olympic test event, it’s back to winter training for 6 months. I will be working very hard to drum in the work I’ve achieved in 2011 and make the necessary adjustments to move up to that next level. I am looking forward to the hard work and to seeing this pay off in 2012.
Thank you Larry!