David Barnes | Australian Olympic Committee

David's Story

Fast Facts

Sport: Archery
Event: Men's Recurve
Olympic History: Athens 2004
Year Born: 1986
State Born: SA

David Barnes began archery in 1995 as a nine-year-old. He said that as a kid he loved target practice and ended up getting a fibreglass bow which he would shoot at home.

Eventually, his parents suggested he join a club and when he was just 13, he was invited to represent Australia.

In 2003 he competed at the Sydney Olympic Test Event and the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, winning two gold, along with the World Championships where he claimed an individual silver and an overall Australian team win.

The following year, the South Australian made his Olympic debut as an 18-year-old when he competed at Athens 2004.  


He placed 36th in the individual and alongside his Aussie teammates, sixth in the teams' event.

But in 2007, the then-21-year-old gave up the sport altogether, wanting to focus on "living a normal life, getting married, having kids and starting a business."

He achieved all of his aspirations, then after a decade away from the sport, Barnes had a "light bulb moment."


He said, "Archery is something I said I would always come back to, and I knew it was my time to have my crack again."

Barnes made that decision in 2017 and linked up with coach and Sydney 2000 gold medallist Simon Fairweather.

Since then, he has won silver and bronze World Cup medals and secured a team Olympic quota for Tokyo 2020 along with juggling training, running a gym equipment business and raising two children.


The now 34-year old will now compete in his second Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020, 16 years after his Olympic debut.

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