Meet Matt Stutzman, the man who conquered the world of archery with no arms
Matt Stutzman is no ordinary human being. Born with no arms, he has not only endured severe hardships but has extraordinarily overcome every curve ball life has thrown at him and come out victorious on the other side.
The Kansas City native has astonished people yet again following his incredible achievement at the recent US National Target Championships held in Westfield, Indiana earlier this month. Stutzman, against all odds, managed to win the men's compound title at the event and cemented his name in the history books. In a field of talented able-bodied archers from his division, the armless archer eliminated his competition and shot his way to glory.
It's not the first time that Stutzman has been able to pull off such an amazing feat either. At the 2012 Paralympic Games held in London, the master archer won the silver medal and made his name at the world stage unlike ever before.
The world took notice of this innocent looking para-athlete whom nobody would have given a chance had they placed their bets on this particular event. Working with his toes and feet, where generally athletes use their fingers and hands, this once-in-a-generation performer has captured the imagination of people the world over.
World record holder
Being born with what most call a disability, the 34-year-old American has overcome every hurdle that life has put in front of him. Where arms were not forthcoming, the positive mindset of Stutzman pushed him to pursue the sport of his choice with his feet, something that many would find hard to believe. All these years on, he now stands at the very pinnacle of the sport nobody gave him a chance with.
His "A Day in The Life" documentary from 2013 highlights just how hard life really was for young Matt and how he manages to balance his work with his now growing family. His never-say-die attitude and positive outlook towards life helped him ensure that he overcame the struggles of being disabled as a kid and he adapted to each and every situation in his own way.
It might shock you but Stutzman also holds the record for the longest accurate shot in archery history. His world record attempt video from 2011 also shows just how much goes into working arrows with just your feet. Watch the video here:
Stutzman's American dream
At the start of the 2017 season, Matt Stutzman made it public news that he was now on the road towards competing in able-bodied competition with the aim of making the US National Archery team, an accomplishment which would make him one of the world's elite archers.
His 2012 silver medal winning performance earned him a spot among the very best the nation had to offer, and he backed it up with another impressive showing at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. His belief to be the best has been the driving force in what has become a historic career already, with several more years still to come.
"You have to follow your dreams," he says and rightly so too, with his dreams of achieving success finally coming true. Sheer hard work and grit have taken this talented archer to the top of the mountain, and as it seems at the moment, he plans to go even higher.
His determination and never give up attitude earns him top praise and we salute the "armless archer" for overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds and wish him well on his journey to achieving true greatness.