Bass and Arrows: Olympic Hopeful Shoots Targets and Fish

Archer and Rio Olympics hopeful Collin Klimitchek, 19, takes aim on land and in the ocean

On land, one of America’s top archers is on the hunt for three spots on Team USA for this summer’s Rio Olympics. At sea, however, his bullseye is a bit different. 

When he isn’t shooting arrows with freakishly precise aim, 19-year-old Olympic hopeful Collin Klimitchek can be found shooting a spear underwater in the Pacific Ocean.

Klimitchek is an avid spear fisherman. He took to the sport after an archery trip to El Salvador in 2011 and quickly got hooked.

"You know it's not about catching stuff, it's why they call it fishing, not killing, it's just about the experience, getting in the water and hanging out with friends,” Klimitchek said in an interview with NBC 7.

Spearfishing seems to be a popular activity among Klimitchek’s peers, especially in San Diego’s vast waters.

Several other top-ranked archers with a chance to make the 2016 Olympic team headed to the August games in Rio De Janeiro frequently join him on trips to La Jolla, the Mission Beach jetty and Sunset Cliffs.

This year the outings are fewer given the travel demands and training that comes in an Olympic year but Klimitchek still tries to get out every other week.

So, does being one of the world’s best archers help him with spearfishing?

“Usually the fish are moving, not still, so if you have time to actually aim that's nice, but a lot of time it's just getting used to where your gun is going to hit and just throwing it up, and instincts," he explained. “Not as much like archery but there’s some similarities.”

Klimitchek says both sports require you to stay calm, keep a clear, level-headed mind and control both your heart rate and emotions.

That’s also the case for him, all around, as he waits to hear if he made Team USA.

The final archery team won’t be announced for several more weeks but Klimitchek has a good shot at making his Olympic dream come true. And, the fact that Rio has an ocean, well that’s just a bonus.

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