Carrol “Blu” Walsh only discovered archery eight years ago, but the Charlotte resident has quickly become the best in his recurve barebow class in North Carolina senior play and has earned two bronze medals and been close to the podium in National Senior Games since 2013.
At 60 Blu found out about organized sports for seniors and tried different sports until he settled on archery. “It really appealed to me,” he says. “And once you buy your bow and arrows, you’re done.”
What if you lose an arrow? “I carry a metal detector with me. I can always find my arrows,” he says with a laugh.
Blu favors the simplicity of recurve barebow. “This style means you shoot with a bow that has no sights. It’s more of just me, the arrow and the bow. If you put a lot of sights and levels on it it’s more about the bow,” he explains. “This is more you against the target. You hit the target, you feel like you’ve accomplished something. That’s why I like this type.”
Expectations were not high for his 2022 performance because of three bouts with cancer over the past five years, and just a few weeks ago Blu broke four ribs and bruised his knee in a fall. “First time. I’ve never fallen before,” he says. “I know how to roll on my stomach going forward, but I fell straight back. I’m glad I could recover and make it to these Games.”
He thinks archery could be helping with his balance. “You’re concentrating on every aspect of how you stand, how you hold, how your back and shoulders move when you’re shooting. Balance is important.”
So why is he called Blu? “My first name (Carroll) is usually seen as a female name, so that’s always been something to deal with. I really like the color blue and I wear a lot of it when I compete, so the others started calling me Blu. I like it.”