Today’s Doodle celebrates the 77th birthday of Donald Pandiangan, an Indonesian archer who coached the archery team that won the country its first Olympic medal in 1988. At the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), he mastered the bow and arrow and won more than 20 gold medals, earning him the moniker “Robin Hood of Indonesia.”
In 1945, Pandiangan was born in Sidikalang, North Sumatra. He wanted to be an engineer, but he couldn’t finish college because of money problems. Pandiangan ended up working for a transportation company, where he got an archery set as a gift that would change his life.
Pandiangan began training at the late age of 25, but he quickly developed a passion for the sport and worked tirelessly. At the 1973 Pekan Olahraga Nasional VIII (National Sports Week of Indonesia) in Surabaya, he won his first gold medal three years later. He set a new world record four years later when he competed in the 70-meter recurve event at the 1977 PON IX in Jakarta.
Pandiangan won gold on many times somewhere in the range of 1977 and 1987 at the Ocean Games. At the height of his career in 1980, Pandiangan was close to competing in the Summer Olympics in Moscow. However, Indonesia’s boycott of the event prevented him from attending.
He started coaching the women’s archery team for the Seoul Summer Olympics in 1988 a few years later. The silver medal was won by Lilies Handayani, Nurfitriyana Saiman, and Kusuma Wardhani—the first in Indonesian history.
Donald Pandiangan, happy 77th birthday!
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