Armless Archer Takes Aim on London | NBC Chicago
London 2012

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Armless Archer Takes Aim on London

He said his parents never made any special exceptions for him



    (Published Thursday, July 19, 2012)

    A Chicago Paralympian is thus far right on target as he tries to bring home a gold medal in the 2012 Paralympics.

    "One thing I wish people would take from watching me and how I live my life is that there's no limits to where you can go." said Matt Stutzman, who calls himself the armless archer. "That means people that have no disability, the sky's the limit."

    He picked up his first bow and arrow at age 16, and turned to YouTube to watch the techniques of the world's best archers.

    "There was never a question on whether I should pursue it." 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 till I'm usually at the top."

    He took on this challenge by developing his own special technique.

    "So they're holding a bow this way with their arm," he said. "So now, I'm gonna use my right foot and pretend it's their arm and hold it as similar to them as possible, and then that's how I had to teach myself."

    Stutzman, who was born without arms, credits his parents with teaching him not to give up and how to live in the real world. When he was a child, they did not make special exceptions for him, something he carries over into his life as an adult.

    "My car's not modified. My house isn't modified," he said. "That way, when I come out in public, I know how to handle myself and know what to do."

    He seems confident he will be able to handle himself well as he takes aim in London.

    "My goals right now are to go there and just do my best, and I know if I do my best, I have a great shot and bring home the gold medal."