Pace still had the grin, but it didn't last. McKinney had said, "The first six arrows at 30 meters will be the most important of the tournament." Then he shot a 58; Pace could only manage 55, and he trailed by 13. Pace's comeback had started too late. He stood with his head down for a long time. He was 12 points into the second set of six when the national championship ended.
A 72-year-old retired engineer named Dimitri Erdely came by. He has competed in and coached archery for more than three decades, and he has known all the great champions in that time. "A group of doctors, engineers, physiologists and psychologists has been trying to find out what qualities make a great archer," said Erdely. "But they can't seem to come to any conclusions. In my opinion, it's a combination of mental balance, endurance and determination, especially determination. An archer must be mentally prepared to win before he can actually win. That's Rick McKinney."
Now he unrolled a fresh target face, and he handed it to McKinney, who had spoken so slightingly of his own endurance, for an autograph.
"Right here?" McKinney asked, pointing to the center circle.
"Yes," Erdely said. "That's where you belong."