In the realm of the greatest archers to ever live, David Cousins might just be the real-life manifestation of Robin Hood or the Green Arrow.
At only 36 years old, Cousins is already in the conversation as one of the greatest archers ever, and by the time his career is over, he could easily stand atop that peak by himself. For now, perhaps the more relevant question to ask is whether or not Cousins is the best archer of his generation. We pulled together some of his statistics to try to answer that question.
Currently, World Archery (FITA) has Cousins ranked at number 16, with two American shooters - Reo Wilde and Braden Gellenthien - ahead of him at number 2 and 3, respectively. However, while Cousins is not currently in the number 1 position - and hasn't been there since 2005 - his recent achievements have nonetheless posited his career as one of the most illustrious in the sport.
For instance, in 2008, while shooting with the Hoyt Pro Staff, Cousins set a FITA world record of 712 points in the 70M 720 event.
That particular record has fallen since, but Cousins has remained on the top of his game nonetheless.
In 2010, he signed with the G5 Prime Team, and Prime's biography of the shooter says it all. According to Prime, Cousins has won 18 FITA World Championship Medals - gold, silver, and bronze - as both a solo shooter and a United States team member. He has also broken 1400 at FITA events more than any other archer, and is the only shooter to ever record a perfect 720 in a FITA field. He has 32 National Championship titles and 12 World Championship titles.
In other words, he's not an archer whose aim you would want to be on the receiving end of.
According to a recent press release from G5 Prime, Cousins has also had a banner year in 2013, accomplishing the archery equivalent of what the "Grand Slam" is for professional tennis or golf. This year, Cousins won the gold at the World Archery 3D Championships, the only world championship title he had yet to have won. Now, as Prime states, Cousins has won FITA Championships in "Outdoor, Indoor, Field, 3D, Outdoor World Cup, Indoor World Cup, and World Games." No other archer in history has managed the same feat.
But is Cousins the best archer of his generation?
It's difficult to argue against that point. While he may not always be ranked number 1 in the world, the fact that he is almost consistently in the hunt for the gold, no matter the event, formulates a clear argument in his favor. Whether shooting alone or a part of a team, you can never bet against Cousins.
Furthermore, Cousins has shown an almost unparalleled dedication to the sport of archery. As is noted in the G5 Prime press release, Cousins has notched some 2 million airplane miles since 1998, all to compete in different FITA championships.
With his 3D championship win, Cousins' dogged determination has finally paid off and made him the most notable shooter in FITA history, and our pick for the best archer of his generation.