The madness of Italian Olympic champion archer Michele Frangilli

The Olympics brought a host of new foreign archers to the attention of US archery enthusiasts. One of these was Michele Frangilli, who was part of the three man team that won the Gold in Team Men’s Archery. (The US took Silver, and the South Koreans improbably took Bronze).

As a novice archer who is still working on mastery of the shot, the thing I find so amazing about Frangilli is how he anchors. Remember that to be a consistent archer, you have to be able to do everything the same every time you shoot. Tiny differences in your skeleton, muscles, and their position and alignment will result in inconsistent shooting.  Look at these three stills of Frangilli moving to his anchor point.

Step 1: He’s not yet anchored, but pretty close. Look at his mouth and head position.
Step 2: This is pretty close to fully anchored. He’s still adjusting his mouth and his lips have moved to the other side of the string.

Step 3: fully anchored, mouth on the extra string nock.


Frangilli’s results are not in doubt.   He and his two teammates just won the Team Mens competition at the 2012 Olympics in London.  But as a novice archer watching him, it seems unfathomable that so much motion at the end of the draw could possibly be executed perfectly the same every time and result in a consistent shot.  And yet it does.

If you want to see a live videotape of Frangilli’s face and anchor while shooting, we’ve pulled this clip from  YouTube.  The segment you want starts at 4:34.