London 2012 runner-up and two-time Paralympian Matt Stutzman won the compound men’s title at the US National Target Championships in Westfield, Indiana the first week of August, beating winds of up to 30 mph as well as an experienced field that included World Games medalist Kris Schaff and international medalists Steve Anderson and Bridger Deaton.
Matt holds the Guinness World Record for the Longest Accurate Archery Shot of 310 yards. A pretty amazing feat for anyone—but for someone with no arms, that is incredible! He will be a featured attraction at this year’s Southern Tier Outdoor Show in Bath on October 14 and 15.
“I’m still trying to do the pinch-me moment,” Stutzman said to USA Archery. “I’ve been trying to do this all year and it’s surreal. I know the conditions were really rough but I still felt like I shot really good.”
Stutzman, who was born with no arms, won the silver medal at the London 2012 Paralympics and competed in his second Games in Rio. Prior the 2017 season, he announced he would be focusing on competing in able-bodied and open events with a view to making a US team.
In the US Open Finals, also an able-bodied competition, Matt took second place in a tough battle that went down to the wire.
Inexplicably born without arms in December of 1982, Matt’s birthparents were soon overwhelmed with the obvious challenges that lay ahead. He was put up for adoption, and in January of 1983, Matt was welcomed into the home of Leon and Jean Stutzman.
A remarkably patient, compassionate and strong willed couple, the Stutzman’s guided Matt through a youth of seemingly insurmountable obstacles of everyday living largely taken for granted in an able-bodied world. Their philosophy was simple; Matt was permitted to try almost anything…if he could do it on his own. Years later, the result is a extraordinary young man, a family man, who can do virtually anything with his feet.
Though originally fitted for prosthetic arms as a child, Matt found them cumbersome and…unnatural. Today, perhaps the most remarkable thing about Matt is that he lives without prosthetics, in a completely un-adapted world. His home, car and life are void of modifications of any sort. He lives in the same world you do and has found a way to do virtually everything with his feet. This includes eating, grooming and writing…as well as playing the guitar, car maintenance and of course, extraordinary abilities with a bow and arrow.
Matt’s original interest in marksmanship began when he learned to shoot a gun, and then taught himself to shoot a penny at 50yards away. He took to a bow and arrow so as to join his father while hunting. Eventually it became his passion and evolved into his dream to become the world’s best archer.
Though many may argue otherwise, Matt considers his physical challenges to be advantageous to archery. His necessary style of shooting with his leg provides great stability with the bow, and a lifetime of indescribable patience and tenacity are deeply ingrained characteristics that would serve any athlete, in any sport, well.
Dubbed The Armless Archer, Matt’s remarkable story has captured the attention of the media around the world. A natural publicspeaker, he regularly uses humor (at his own expense) and remarkable demonstrations of his foot skills, to engage audiences of all kinds who are left entertained, inspired and believing anything is possible.
Matt will have performances at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. each day at the Southern Tier Outdoor Show in October. The show moves to the Steuben County Fairgrounds this year. More information can be found by visiting SouthernTierOutdoorShow.com or by calling 607-664-2300.