Join us as we meet and follow BP Team USA, a group of nine U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls aiming to bring home gold from London this summer. Today we meet the Armless Archer, Matt Stutzman.
Last fall, Matt Stutzman hit a target 230 yards away, breaking the world record for the longest accurate archery shot ever, by an astonishing 14 yards. That's impressive in its own right. And it's made even more impressive when you learn Matt doesn't have arms.
Matt, dubbed the "Inspirational Archer," was born without arms, and subsequently put up for adoption when he was just four months old. Raised in Iowa by his adoptive parents, Leon and Jean Stutzman, he was never treated differently from other kids in town -- "He fed the calves, went fishing with his dad and brothers, and played sports."
"My parents really pushed me to be the best that I can be," the armless archer explains. "I feel like I learned that from them."
And he also quickly learned how to do everything with his feet. This, of couse, included archery, which he took up so he could go bow hunting with his father. He bought his first bow when he was 16, and taught himself how to shoot it with accuracy -- and with his feet.
Now he's a proud member of the Para United States Archery Team and, earlier this year, he qualified for a spot on the team that will compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games. The archery competition in London begins Aug. 30.
Matt and his wife, Amber, have two young sons, Carter and Cameron.
For more on Matt Stutzman, visit the official site of BP Team USA.