Moral Low Ground


Armless Archer Matt Stutzman Takes Aim at London Paralympics

August 17, 2012 by Brett Wilkins in Sports with 0 Comments

Matt Stutzman is a world-class, world record-breaking archer. Last fall, he hit a target 230 yards (210 meters) away, something no one had ever done before, or even come within 14 yards (12.8 meters) of doing.

But while his world record is certainly impressive, what’s really remarkable about him is that he accomplished the feat with his feet, for Stutzman was born without any arms.

The Iowa native is set to depart for London to compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games, which begin on August 29. Stutzman, dubbed the “Inspirational Archer,” is one of the stars of the Para United States Archery Team working toward gold and glory in London.

“One thing I wish people would take away from watching me and how I live my life is that there’s no limits to where you can go,” Stutzman told NBC Chicago last month.

The married father of two young sons said he never doubted whether he should pursue his dream.

“There was never a question,” he said. “I guess that’s my personality. I see a challenge, I wanna do it, I go after it, and I don’t stop ’til I’m usually at the top.”

Sutzman, who was put up for adoption as a baby and adopted by Leon and Jean Sutzman of Iowa, was never treated differently from his brothers or the other kids in town.

“My parents really pushed me to be the best that I can be,” he told CNN. He took up archery at age 16 so that he could go bow hunting with his father. The self-taught Olympian quickly learned to use his feet and his body to strike distant targets with pinpoint accuracy, and now the biggest prize of his life is within reach.

He also relished the chance to bring pride and glory to his country.

“The fact that I get to… represent America in a sport that I love, it’s kind of my way of saying ‘thank you’ back,” he told CNN.

The Paralympic archery competition begins on August 30.

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