BY AARON GRAY
During a lifetime commitment to archery and the Olympic Movement, James L. Easton also paved the way and helped lead the technological advancement in sports equipment that led to a distinct advantage for the athlete.
The 76-year-old Easton, who was the International Olympic Committee vice president from 2002–06, has worn countless hats in the international archery and Olympic worlds during his professional career that has spanned six decades.
Most notably, he was the commissioner of the archery competition and Mayor of the Athlete Village at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, he managed the 1983 Archery World Championships in Los Angeles, and was the Vice President of Technology for the Olympic Organizing Committee for the Los Angeles Games. He produced all but one of the Olympic archery films from the 1972 Games in Munich to Athens Games in 2004.
Easton rejuvenated the sport of archery as president of the International Archery Federation (FITA) during his historic 16-year run as president started in 1989.
Easton is the CEO of Jas. D. Easton, Inc., an international sporting goods company, which his father, Doug Easton, started back in 1922. The company now includes the subsidiaries Easton Technical Products, Hoyt Archery and Delta Sports. Among its many products, the company has been the leader in manufacturing aluminum target archery shafts since the 1940s. The aluminum-composite arrows Easton developed and perfected are still used in the Olympic Games today.
Over the years, the technology carried over into other sports equipment markets. The Easton Sports’ high-performance aluminum and carbon-composite sports equipment revolutionized baseball and softball bats, ice hockey sticks, ski poles, mountain tent structural tubing, and bicycle components and wheels.
Easton, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from UCLA, first became an IOC member in 1994. In addition to his four years as vice president, Easton also was a member of the IOC Executive Board, has served on the IOC Nominations and IOC Marketing Commissions and is also a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors.
Easton and his wife, Phyllis, live in Los Angeles. He has a daughter, Lynn, and his son, Greg, is now the president of the family-owned company located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Working for my dad has always been a rewarding experience,” Greg Easton says. “His passion for sports and his dedication to the Olympic movement is only surpassed by his passion for developing the next best product and his unwavering integrity and amazing work ethic. The international sport of archery is stronger around the world and is securely positioned in the Olympic Games due to Jim's commitment to the sport and the innovative ways he modernized the Olympic Archery Round.”
Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Aaron Gray is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org. This story was not subject to the approval of any National Governing Bodies.