Editors note: now that the 2012 games have begun Costas’ People will be focused on covering the games with the utmost of journalistic integrity. Hopefully we can provide you, the readers, with the sort of context you’d expect from a blog named after Bob Costas. We will also be rerunning some of our longer historical pieces as we see fit.
Im Dong-hyun, a legally blind archer representing South Korea, has received a lot of press for his ability to overcome adversity. But did you know he is not the first great blind archer:
One hundred years ago, In 1912 the top two Italian archers Giovanni Facchinello and Benedetto Sacchitiello were also the top two archers in the world. Both had skills forged in the criminal world of Sicily, as their families were deep rivals in the businesses of garbage collection and exporting. When the two men met at the Italian national qualifying tournament, they surprisingly found themselves bonding over a shared hometown. Their deep familial enmity quickly became friendship, and eventually that friendship became love.
Despite the strength of their love, their Catholic shame slowly drove them insane. While they both qualified for the games they were being eaten alive on the inside by their forbidden love. After a chianti fueled night of love making, the two men in a moment of passion blinded each other so that they would no longer have to look at their own reflections. Their tragedy was compounded as there were mere weeks before the games were to begin in Stockholm. Forced to relearn their sport blind, the two men became each others eyes, calling out scores based on sound alone. Both men wound up winning medals in Stockholm, though eventually they were driven apart when the Sacchitiello family assassinated most of the Facchinello family and consolidated the crime world of Sicily.
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