Latter-day Saints in the Paralympics, day 11: Sitting volleyball and archery

It was a fourth-place finish for the Canada women’s sitting volleyball team on day 11 of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Also, an update from Yumenoshima Park Archery Field as athletes with ties to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints compete in the last days of the Games in Tokyo. 

Read more of Church News’ coverage of athletes connected to the Church competing in the Paralympics

Volleyball

Canada's Payden Vair, upper right, competes during the women's bronze medal sitting volleyball match between Brazil and Canada at the Makuhari Messe Hall, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Chiba, Japan, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.
Canada’s Payden Vair, upper right, competes during the women’s bronze medal sitting volleyball match between Brazil and Canada at the Makuhari Messe Hall, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Chiba, Japan, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Credit: screenshot via nbcolympics.com

Canada women’s sitting volleyball team, including field player Payden Vair, faced Brazil in the match for the bronze medal on Saturday, Sept. 4. Canada lost the match 3-1. Brazil won the first set 25-15; Canada won the second set 26-24 and lost the next two 26-24 and 25-14 as each team fought for each point. 

Vair, a serving specialist, played during all four sets and served 10 times.

Sitting volleyball is similar to indoor volleyball and has a lower net (just higher than a meter, or about 41 inches, for women) and a slightly smaller court. 

Vair, 22, of Alberta, was a collegiate soccer player and was introduced to sitting volleyball following a lawn mower accident that resulted in the amputation of her right leg below her knee. Tokyo is her first Paralympics. 

Archery 

USA's Eric Bennett, right, and teammate Emma Rose Ravish compete in the mixed team recurve tournament at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Yumenoshima, Japan, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.
USA’s Eric Bennett, right, and teammate Emma Rose Ravish compete in the mixed team recurve tournament at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Yumenoshima, Japan, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Credit: screenshot via nbcolympics.com

USA’s Eric Bennett and teammate Emma Rose Ravish competed in the mixed team recurve tournament on Saturday, Sept. 4. The pair lost 6-2 to Kirill Smirnov and Margarita Sidorenko of the Russia Olympic Committee in the ⅛ elimination rounds. Bennett and Ravish were ranked 13th based on their scores from the preliminary round and Smirnow and Sidorenko were ranked fourth. The Russia Olympic Committee team went on to win gold in the event. 

The competition is a head-to-head duel of four sets. In each set, the archers have two arrows each and the duos alternate taking each shot. Archers shoot a target that’s 122 centimeters, or 48 inches, in diameter that is 70 meters, or about 76.5 yards, away. The target has 10 concentric bands — the center band is 10 points and the outside band is 1 point. 

Two points are awarded for each set won, one point for a tie and no points for loss. The first team to five points wins. 

The mixed team recurve competition includes both standing and wheelchair sport class archers and all competitors use a recurve bow.

Against Smirnow and Sidorenko, Bennett and Ravish lost 6-2 points, winning the first set 36-34, including a 10s from both Team USA members. They lost the next sets 37-34, 33-31 and 32-31.

This is the fourth Paralympics for the 48-year-old from Surprise, Arizona, and he’s said that Toyko may be his last Games. He was eighth in the recurve division in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and fourth in the 2012 Games in London. The high school physics and engineering teacher in 2019 won silver at the world championships. He lost his right arm above the elbow in a car accident when he was 15 and uses a mouth tab to pull back the string.

Archery was featured at the Parlaympics’ predecessor, the Stoke Mandeville Games, in 1948. It’s been in every Paralympics since the first competition in 1960.

Upcoming 

The closing ceremonies are on Sunday, Sept. 5.