YANKTON, S.D. — As international attention turns to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, South Dakota is hosting its own global sporting event starting this week.
The 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships kick off at the National Field Archery Association Easton Yankton Archery Center in Yankton, with the first events to be held on Wednesday.
NFAA spokeswoman Nancy Wenande told the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan that 32 teams are arriving Monday and Tuesday. The tournament runs through Feb. 19. She said teams are coming from as far as New Zealand, Paraguay and Japan.
Wenande said some countries, such as Russia, faced challenges with obtaining visas a year in advance. Russia didn’t have qualification trials until January, so competitors had to receive visas in Armenia, according to Wenande.
“We did have some teams that didn’t sign up for the event that we would’ve loved to have come,” she said. “One of those reasons being the political climate around the world, and some of it was the political situation here in the U.S. and some of the teams are restructuring because it’s a non-(Summer) Olympic year.”
Wenande said the event brings tourism to the area during offseason.
“It’s in the shoulder season, and hotels and restaurants in the community were asking for an event that would bring people in the winter, and that’s exactly what we did,” Wenande said. “The hotels have been great to work with as far as reservations and holding rooms for us. I just wish we could’ve had more people come to compete.”
This year’s tournament is free and open to the public.
Yankton also will host the 2020 World Archery Field Championships.
Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan, http://www.yankton.net/