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Matt Stutzman, Armless Archer, Wins Silver For United States At 2012 Paralympics

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Matt Stutzman, a Paralympic archer born without arms, won a silver medal for the United States on Sept. 3.
Matt Stutzman, a Paralympic archer born without arms, won a silver medal for the United States on Sept. 3.

Matt Stutzman, an armless Paralympic athlete, might not be the first man people would identify as a world-class archer.

But once he's in action, it's clear to everyone that the 29-year-old Iowan has the heart of a champion. In fact, the Telegraph calls him "the Games’ most extraordinary competitor."

Born without arms, Stutzman lifts and steadies his bow with his bare right foot, draws it with his teeth, and inserts the arrow using his other foot during competition. And he usually hits his mark.

At the 2012 Paralympics, Stutzman won silver for the United States, placing behind Finland's Jere Forsberg, 6-4, in the final contest of the Men's Individual Compound - Open event on Sept. 3.

According to USA Today, Stutzman's competitors were all wheelchair users but had use of their arms.

"My goal was to inspire somebody, even if it was just one person, with my positive attitude," Stutzman told the Herald-Sun after winning his silver medal.

The excitement around Stutzman's performance was palpable in the archery final. Whereas his opponent, Forsberg, shot his arrows in silence, the Telegraph likened the sound of camera shutters going off around Stutzman to "exploding birdshot."

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