Matt Stutzman

AP

‘Armless Archer’ Matt Stutzman has lofty goals after Paralympic exit

Leave a comment

Matt Stutzman, the U.S. Paralympic archer born without arms profiled across major media, is already looking ahead after being eliminated in the round of 16 by one point in Rio.

“Next up is Tokyo 2020, and that’s what I have to start thinking about,” Stutzman, 33, said following a 142-141 loss on Wednesday after placing fourth overall in the ranking round. “Days like today, they happen.”

Four years ago, Stutzman qualified as the top seed into the London Paralympic bracket rounds and took silver, losing in the final against Finland’s Jere Forsberg, who competed in a wheelchair but with both arms.

On Wednesday, Stutzman finished three wins shy of a medal. He said before his elimination that his aim next year is able-bodied archery.

“In the U.S. you have to decide to shoot para- or able-bodied archery. You can’t do both,” he said, according to World Archery. “I want to make the World Cup team, shoot with Reo [Wilde] and [three-time Olympic medalist] Brady [Ellison] and those guys. My focus next year is able-bodied archery. So I won’t be doing para events next year. To be the best I have to shoot with the best in the world. Not that people here aren’t good, because they’re excellent, but my goals are World Cups, baby.”

Stutzman competes in compound archery at the Paralympics, and though only recurve is done at the Olympics, other international able-bodied competitions include both compound and recurve.

MORE: Paralympics broadcast schedule

Matt Stutzman — Armless Archer — profile on ‘Real Sports’ (video)

Leave a comment

Armless archer Matt Stutzman goes into the Paralympic year with plenty of motivation.

That he’s reached the highest level of competition after being born without arms, of course, but also because of what happened at the London 2012 Paralympics.

Four years ago, Stutzman qualified as the top seed but lost in the Paralympic final against Finland’s Jere Forsberg, who competed in a wheelchair but with both arms.

Stutzman left his first Paralympics with a silver medal.

This year, he’ll be looking to improve not only on that but also on a round of 32 exit at the 2015 IPC World Archery Championships.

“When I went into London I was the guy who no one knew, and I was just there to make a name for myself,” Stutzman said in November. “Now everyone knows who I am, and people tell me all the time that I’m the one they’re gunning for. So I use that as motivation to not only prove to them that I can still be the best, but I can do [it] also without arms.”

MORE: Manny Pacquiao wouldn’t fight in Olympics, report says