Rick Stonebreaker wins World Championship at Masters Games

It took 28 years of perserverence, persistence, patience and lots of practice to finally hold what slipped away in 1974 in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. On that day Rick Stonebreaker came in second place by ONE point to a teammate and had to settle for a silver medal at the world field championship in archery
On Oct. 7, 2002, , Rick claimed his first World Championship title by winning the indoor round at the World Masters Games held in Werribee, Australia, a Melbourne suburb.
The World Masters Games are the largest sports gathering in the world and the fifth World Masters Games proved to be the biggest and best ever with over 25,000 athletes represented. They all came with one thing in common- arufusal to sit back and say life had passed them by. They were in Melbourne to show what they do have, which is health and happiness in abundance-because spotr offers benefits to the mind and to the soul as well as to the body.
“We don’t stop playing games because we get old-we get old because we stop playing games.”
The World Masters are held every four years. The next Games are shifted one year and will be in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 2005.
Federation Internationale de Tir a la’ Arc (FITA), the world governing body for archery in the Olympics, has been conducting world championships since 1937, but never for the masters division (50 and above). FITA and the World Masters Games has joined forces andanyone over 50 would now be eligible to compete for the first time ever FITA World Masters Championship in conjunction with the World Masters Games.
The indoor round was held at the Werribee sports complex and comprised of a single round of 60 arrows. In the outdoor target competition, Stonebreaker came in second place in the preliminary round. The top four advanced to the semifinals where the title is determined by going head-to-head in match play competition. Rick beat Pentti Kuivalainen of Finland 105-103 to advance to the Gold Medal round. Gerry Phipps of Australia stood in the way of a title, but Rick stayed the course and prevailed 1040103 to win his second world championship.
The outdoors rounds were held on the grounds of the Werribee estate, which encompasses a 60=room mansion, a spetacular ten-hectare grand garden, 142 Australian species of flora and fauna, a rose garden that displays 5,000 roses to perfetcion and an adjoining open range zoo spread out over 200 hectares. (A hectare is 100 meters by 100 meters).
One of the field ranges meandered through a sparse forest but, mostly out in the open area of a volcano-like crater that has many up-and-down shots, and the ever-present wind swirling about. The other field course was maostly flat through light woods and a blooming apple orchard. ASiming at a target with a giraffe, rhino, zebra or wildebeast in the background required a study in concentration. Stonebreaker won his third championship by besting Nicholas Graham of Australia 333-302.
In all, Rick claimed six gold medals and a silver in the World Masters Games. Three of the gold were World Championship titles.
The oldest archer at the games was 87, but the spryest was Tina Hall at 85. Tina has a sharp wit about her, which she displayed at the awards ceremony. When she received her medal, she said she preferred the handsome 54-year young presenter instead. In all, 386 archers came “down under” to compete in the World Masters Games.
A special dinner was held for the archers at tghe Old Melbourne Goal in downtown Melbourne. This is the oldest prison in Melbourne. It closed in 1924 after 136 people were hanged for various offenses. Over a hundred people attended this unusual buffet via candlelight to reflect the “charm” of the place. A string quartet fittingly entertained with Chamber Music!