Armless Archery Champ an Inspiration

By CBS News

Published 03/31 2014 10:35AM

Updated 03/31 2014 10:47AM

FARGO, N.D. -- Straight shooting out in West Fargo, North Dakota this weekend. Hundreds of archery sharpshooters picked up a bow and arrow to compete in the state archery championship.

But all eyes seemed to be aimed at one competitor from Iowa, Matt Stutzman. He was born without arms, and picked up a bow in 2009. Since then his coach says he has the drive to be the best. Matt has competed in the Olympics, he's a medal holder, and competes against able bodies. Now he's hoping to inspire others to be the best they can be.

"It started off, I just wanted to be the best, and then I found out I could change people's lives in a good way, and inspire people, and so that's just icing on the cake, I can come out here, and not shoot well at all and people will like, that's so awesome, and really that's what it's all about," says Matt.

Stutzman doesn't miss a shot...literally.

"I hold the bow in my right foot, and I have a release that hooks to my shoulder, and I kinda bend down and squish like an arcadian, and hook everything on, and I extend my foot away from my chest which draws the bow, and the trigger goes on my cheek and it fires the bow."

"At that time he was shooting pretty crude equipment compared to what he has now, but he had the motivation and the drive, that allows him to play very well."

"I don't want to be known as the guy without arms that people watch because it's cool, no I want to be the best in the world, not the best with no arms... just period."

He's an Olympian, won metals and competes against able bodies.

"See, anybody can shoot.  Anybody, can shoot, I have to watch you shoot."

But an even bigger accomplishment... he's started.... a following.

"Let's take you out deer hunting tomorrow, Hashanah, he already killed his first deer, YOU DID? That's even better, that is so awesome."

Patrick Coles lives in Fargo, saw Matt on the internet and came to meet him.

"shoot another one, let's see."

"It started out, I just wanted to be the best," Matt says.  "And then I found out I could change people's lives in a good way, and inspire people, that's just icing on the cake."

Learning a few tips from the pros.

"I'll give you a key to success.  You can't use your hands if you want to be good at archery, you have to use your feet...hahaah."

(Nichole Johnson, KXJB for CBS News)

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