ST. THOMAS — Karen Gauriloff, a junior at the Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy (V.I.M.S.I.A.) is headed to Guatemala to participate in the Guatemala Archery Tournament along with teammate Joshua Derrickson with hopes of securing a ticket to the youth Olympics, V.I.M.S.I.A. announced Friday.
After five years of playing around with a bow and arrow, Gauriloff decided to take up archery competitively only one and a half years ago, according to the release. Under the direction of Anne Abernathy “Grandma Luge”, a luge athlete from the U.S. Virgin Islands and the oldest female athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics, Gauriloff has trained extensively practicing four hours a day building strength, stamina and working on consistency – a key factor to scoring in archery.
“There are three main parts to the competition” says Gauriloff. “First there is the qualification round, second is Match Play where you must compete against another archer, and lastly the Mixed Team round” which Gauriloff and Derrickson will compete in together. Feeling both excited and nervous, Gauriloff enters the competition setting her goal to score 500 points out of a possible 720 points.
It is an archery tradition for archers to trade pins with their competitors as a sign of good sportsmanship. Thanks to the Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, Gauriloff is headed to Gautemala with USVI pins, towels, bags and t-shirts to represent her home. “I’m looking forward to adding to my pin collection, I have twenty so far” added Gauriloff.
If Gauriloff moves on, she may have a chance at representing the territory at the youth Olympics. Currently an eleventh grade student, through hard work and dedication Gauriloff managed to graduate a year early from V.I.M.S.I.A. and will attend Allegheny College, PA this Fall.