Matt Stutzman earned a silver medal at London 2012; no easy feat. He set a record for the world’s longest recorded archery shot and, like many competitive archers, first picked up a bow to hunt for food. But unlike most people who try archery, Matt had to make some adaptations. Why? He was born without arms.
The challenge didn’t intimidate him. From changing a flat tire to playing basketball, Matt believes he can do anything. In fact, with seven brothers and sisters, and very determined parents, Stutzman grew up believing that nothing should hold him back.
Stutzman decided it was time to shoot a bow of his own after tagging along with his father and brothers on hunting trips. His dad agreed. “We had no idea how I was going to [shoot a bow]. We just knew I had a genuine interest,” Matt told Realtree in a 2014 interview. “Little did I know, at that young age, I was training myself to be the best archer in the world.”
How does an archer with no arms shoot a bow? He uses a combination of his feet, which have incredible dexterity, and a release aid that’s strapped to his shoulder. Check out Matt Stutzman’s shooting technique as he aims for a spot on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Team: