Straight-Shooting Islander Finds Silver-Tipped Arrow
By Chris Welner
If Hollywood is looking to cast a new Catniss Everdeen in a Hunger Games remake, they might want to call on Kirsten Arsenault.
The P.E.I. teen sings, plays piano and ukulele and dabbles in drama club. Combine that with her ability to shoot an arrow truer than a laser light and you can see how this plot unfolds. So what’s your favourite movie, Kristen?
“Hunger Games — I would definitely be Catniss,” says Arsenault. “I read the books first and I loved them. I’d much rather the books than the movie, but if I had to pick a movie, it’s the Hunger Games. It’s not because she’s an archer, it’s more just the story line — but the archer is a cool bonus.
Arsenault, 16, won a silver medal in compound archery on Thursday, P.E.I.’s second medal of the Canada Games. Quebec’s Marie Paquette won gold.
After getting a bow for Christmas when she was 11, Arsenault made the P.E.I. team for the 2015 Prince George Canada Games. She marvelled at what the big girls were doing with their bows and soaked it all in. She competed at the world youth archery championships in 2017, and now in Red Deer, she’s the one standing on the podium.
“I loved finding archery because I’m not super good at other sports. This was a huge deal for me because it was a sport I was actually good at,” says Arsenault. “I always want to get better and I want to keep on shooting and maybe shoot a perfect score.”
That means bull’s-eye after bull’s-eye to shoot scores of 300, 600 or outdoors 720. Her personal best is 573 out of 600.
An archer needs supreme mental focus, core and arm strength and the ability to calm nerves and steady her heart rate. Arsenault lifts weights and makes sure her protein is high and sugars are low to help prepare for competition.
She says balancing school and athletics can be difficult but she gets good support from teachers to keep her marks up. Anything else, Kristen?
“For the record, I started shooting before Hunger Games became super popular.