Local Dentist Gives Payson Place On National Archery Map

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Harold Rush's archery exploits have highlighted the Rim Country sports scene for the past 25 years.

Only last year, the 62-year-old Payson dentist reached the pinnacle of archery success --a spot on the 2006 United States Field Archery Team that participated in the world championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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Dr. Harold Rush, a Payson dentist, practices his archery skills in a field near his office. Rush has represented the United States in the U.S. Olympics.

Rush nailed down a berth on the U.S. team at trials held earlier that summer in Spokane, Wash.

There, he shot his way to a second-place finish in the men's bare bow competition.

Being a member of the U.S. Field Archery Team was nothing new for Rush. He was a member of the team in 2002 and in 2004 was an alternate.

What rendered Rush unique in the world of bare bow competition was that he is the oldest member of the team and had only taken up the sport six years prior to making the team. Most successful bare bow archers have decades of experience.

In the spring of 2000, while shooting at a recurve competition in Utah, Rush noticed there were not many entrants in the bare bow division. Rush mulled over the idea of giving the sport a try.

In the beginning, he struggled to acquire the bare bow skills that he admits were difficult to master. Once a world-class recurve archer, he suddenly turned into an unheralded rookie in the bare bow division.

"The rest of the world did not have a clue who Harold Rush was," he said.

In 2002, however, he became a hit on the bare bow archery scene by earning a spot on the U.S. team that traveled to Australia for the world championships.

His archery exploits also took him Down Under in 1987 as a member of the U.S. Olympic team entered in the recurve events.

Due to an airline snafu, his travel case carrying his bow, arrows, sights and stabilizers were lost and have never been recovered.

Prior to the Olympics, he spent months diligently fine-tuning the equipment.

Using borrowed bows and arrows he was unfamiliar with, Rush struggled in the competition but returned to Payson saying he was proud to represent the USA in the ultimate amateur sporting event.

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