• Fri. Jun 7th, 2024

Olympic Archer Butch Johnson Passes at Age 68

ByInside Archery

May 31, 2024

Archery lost one of its true legends in the sudden passing of five-time Olympic archer and Atlanta 1996 team gold medalist Richard Andrew “Butch” Johnson. Johnson was 68 years old. 

Johnson was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1955. During his archery career Johnson competed in five consecutive Summer Olympic Games, beginning in Barcelona in 1992 until Beijing in 2008. During his archery career Johnson won Team Gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and Bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, in addition to Team Gold in the 1999 Winnipeg, Team Gold in the 2007 Rio de Janeiro, Individual 70-meter Silver in the Mar Del Plata and Individual Bronze in the 1995 Mar del Plata Pan American Games, and a 1999 Team Recurve Bronze in the 1999 World Championships.    

His best individual finish was 11th place in 1996, when he also combined with Justin Huish and Rod White to deliver the USA’s only recurve men’s Olympic team gold medal to date. A converted compound archer, Johnson was known for his unorthodox and analytical approach to his equipment, and for anchoring the U.S. international team for more than two decades.

Tom Dielen, World Archery Secretary General, said “Butch was an icon in the sport, matching a unique technique approach with elite success and unrivalled longevity as the USA Archery’s most-capped Olympian.

“His impact went beyond the shooting line to the many archers he coached and mentored. My condolences go to his wife, Teresa, his family and the archery community in the USA.”

Johnson remained one of the world’s best recurve shooters long after his Olympic appearances, ranking in the top five in the United States and placing 6th in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Amid speculation he would retire following the Trials, Johnson came back to finish 2nd in the 2012 National Target Championships and won a silver medal in the 2012 Hoyt World Open, second only to No.1 world ranked archer Brady Ellison.

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