Paralympian Matt Stutzman draws a bow.

Paralympian Matt Stutzman on Para Archery

Release Date: March 16, 2023

Category: Para Archery | Podcast

We are thrilled to talk para archery with three-time Paralympian Matt Stutzman. Matt, who is also known as the Armless Archer, won a silver at London 2012, was 4th at Rio and placed 9th at Tokyo. He has also competed and medaled at multiple world championships. We talked with him about how the sport works, what strategies competitors use and the advice Olympian Michael Johnson gave him.

Follow Matt on Twitter, Insta and Facebook. And check out his cherry-on-top BOOM in Team USA’s 2021 Paralympic commercial.

In our Seoul 1988 history moment, Alison looks back at the women’s team archery event, another first for women at these Games. Notice how the bucket hat — a staple of archery uniforms today — isn’t very prevalent here.


The Indonesian women’s team inspired the movie “3 Srikandi” (“3 Heroines”). You may have to search around to find a service that has it, but here’s the trailer:


In our visit to TKFLASTAN, we hear from:

And a reminder that “The Magnificent Seven” starts on March 31 at the Flint Repertory Theatre.

We’ve reached the 500 days to go mark for Paris 2024! The next phase of the ticket lottery is opening up, so sign up here and examine the catalog for ticket prices. There will be some tickets on the low-end of the pricing scheme, but look for them more in non-medal events. Opening and Closing Ceremonies tickets will also be up for grabs.

Hospitality Houses are starting to come back! We know of at least three that are planning to be there – Ireland, Germany and India – so far. How many will there be in total? We’ll keep an eye on it!

Also, there could be housing issues in Tahiti for the surfing competition….perhaps this is why there are no tickets being sold for it.

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!

Photo courtesy of Matt Stutzman.


Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript. It contains errors. Please do not quote from the transcript; use the audio file as the record of note.

Paralympian Matt Stutzman on Para Archery (Ep. 278)

[00:00:00] Jill: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast four fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. If you love the games, we are the show for you. Each week we share stories from athletes and people behind the scenes to help you have more fun watching the games.

I’m your host, Jill Jaracz, joined as always by my lovely co-host, Alison Brown. Alison, hello, how are you?

[00:00:48] Alison: Hello. I have recovered from my nothing nor Easter, and I am ready for summer.

[00:00:54] Jill: Excellent. I am too. It we’ve had weather that’s been up and down, but we’re gonna get some that looks like it might be good bike and weather.

I hope

[00:01:02] Alison: you can be track cyclists cuz now they let women do that.

[00:01:05] Jill: And if you don’t know what we’re talking about going to last week’s episode where we talk about track cycling in at Soul 1988. It’s a doozy. Also doozy is this week’s interview. Oh my gosh, this was so exciting. .

[00:01:20] Alison: We were very excited and it, I will preview this and say it was as much fun as we.

Matt Stutzman Interview

[00:01:26] Jill: Yes, we are talking today with Para Archer Matt Stutzman, also known as the armless archer. Matt is a three-time Paralympian. He won silver at London, 2012. Was fourth at Rio 2016 and placed ninth at Tokyo, 2020. He has also competed and medaled at multiple world championships.

We talked with him about his sport, how he shoots and strategizes, and what the road to Paris looks like. Take a listen.

[00:01:54] Alison: Matt Stutzman, thank you so much for joining us. We’re really excited to talk to you.

[00:01:58] Matt Stutzman: So thank you very much for having me.

[00:02:00] Alison: So in the Paralympics, you compete in open compound power archery, and I really wanna break down what all those words mean. So let’s start with compound and that’s equipment. So let’s start there.

[00:02:13] Matt Stutzman: Yes. The equipment that I use, my bow has like what we call cams and poles. And what this does is it makes the bow more efficient. So let’s say at the beginning of the cycle uh, the bow is 60 pounds. By the time you get to full draw, it could be like, 12 pounds if you wanted it. So it makes it actually a lot easier shooting.

Whereas like a recurve bow, let’s say you start off at 30 pounds, the more you draw the bow back, the more it gets. So you could end up at like. 35 or 40 pounds trying to hold that string back. And it makes it a little bit more tough, I guess, to shoot it. So I, I choose that division. As far as the open part, that is the highest level of competition that I can compete in at the Paralympic Games, which means it’s the class that has.

We’ll say like 99 or 98% of the people who shoot that division have a disability, but it’s usually something that is from the waist down. So it normally doesn’t affect, usually everybody has, above their waist, so their arms are fine and it doesn’t affect you know, them shooting, like if you were to take a picture of them shooting from the waist stop, they would look like what we would call an able-bodied.

[00:03:32] Alison: Yeah, I noticed watching Cuz before we spoke, I watched a bunch of matches and it felt like Open really is open, it is a lot of different disabilities and so I’m wondering how does that play into how people shoot? So is obviously you are using your feet, but people may have one arm, both arms using a wheelchair.

So how does that actually work? Mechanic.

[00:03:55] Matt Stutzman: Well, let me just state this first. The reason why, one of the reasons why I chose that division is cuz I, I have this burning desire to just to be the best archer in the world. And if you’re gonna be the best archer in the world, you have to shoot against the best archers no matter what.

their disability is like you. So like , I’m jumping into the big boys and I’m shooting against the best and the best, you know, and I don’t think about them as somebody that has a physical disability. Like they are very capable archers that are the best at what they do. And that’s where I wanted to be. As far as equipment and stuff, all our equipment in this division is the same, What I mean by that is we may have different manufacturers, but there’s certain rules that guidelines to our equipment, which means.

the bows have to be at like a normal compound bow, no electronics of any, any sort. We can run magnification on our site. We can run along stabilizers. Our release aid also has to be a mechanical release aid, and that is the device that attaches to the string that allows the bow to shoot. So if you [00:05:00] were to compare my equipment compared.

Everybody else’s equipment that I’m shooting against. It’s basically the almost exactly the same type of stuff.

[00:05:11] Jill: And I would imagine, are there restrictions on that weight when you had that draw weight?

[00:05:16] Matt Stutzman: Yeah, actually you’re not allowed to have more than 60 peak pounds of draw weight, and they do this because just to kind of level the playing field, because let’s be honest, I the rule wasn’t made specifically because of me.

And in fact, I think it was around maybe before me, but since I used my legs, I can draw. 80, 90 pounds, really easy, whereas most people with their arms can only draw 60 and then let alone shoot that bow a hundred times in one day for, you know, for score or something. And that is an unfair advantage when it comes to bows because the more poundage, the arrows goes faster and is less affected by wind and elements.

So that’s kind of the only restriction that they’ve pretty much added is the 60 pound. Peak weight.

[00:06:04] Jill: Okay. thank you for answering that because one of my questions was legs are stronger than upper body . .

[00:06:10] Alison: When

[00:06:11] Matt Stutzman: I’m just guessing there, I don’t really know. Cause my upper body isn’t that strong, but I’m guessing on normal , I’m guessing on normal, that legs are a little stronger.

[00:06:22] Jill: when you first came on the scene, Competition organizers go, oh wow. We have a new, element of shooting to deal with, with that leg strength.

[00:06:33] Matt Stutzman: You know, it, it actually ironically wasn’t because of the leg strength, but it was does Matt fit all the all you know, Does he fit all the rules that we have in place?

Do we, you know, the one thing that we were kind of concerned about and they changed it over some time. When I first came into the archery, they allowed like 20 seconds an arrow, which is not a lot of time. And my process takes a while cause I have to grab the arrow off the ground and the way I load is completely different.

Now in the, like in the finals arena, we get 30 seconds. , which is plenty of time. But other than that, they just were like, Matt, how well can you adapt ? These are the rules and, and we’ll discuss ’em if we think there’s gonna be a problem. But there really wasn’t that big of a problem adapting really.

[00:07:19] Alison: Okay. So you mentioned you got 30 seconds. Let’s talk about how the match goes. if you’ve never seen a power archery match, how does it work in terms of, I’m watching people shoot arrows, but what’s actually going on?

[00:07:31] Matt Stutzman: Yeah, so let’s use um, the war championships in Dubai. The last international tournament I was at, I was shooting against a guy from Russia who also ironically had no arms and he was missing a leg, which is amazing, by the way.

Sometimes I joked that he was trying to outdo me, but anyway , he, he’s an incredible guy. Depending on how you’re seated, you choose to shoot first or second. You each get you know, you have three arrows essentially, and you take turns alternating shooting. So I’d get my first arrow and I would have 30 seconds to shoot that arrow.

And I’m shooting at a target that’s 50 meters away, so that’s about 55, maybe 55 ish yards. The bullseye is a 10, and that’s actually the size of a cd. . So that’s pretty far away for something really small. And then it goes the scoring rings are 10, 9, 8, 7, so forth. So in my 30 seconds, I have to make a shot, half football filled away.

When I make my shot and the arrow hits a target, then my opponent’s time starts. You can load the arrow. You just can’t draw the bow back or have your release attached. and then you just go back and forth till you shoot. Uh, Equivalent of over the course of that event or that little matchup. 15 arrows, whoever has the highest score wins.

Whoever has the lowest score. We’ll see you at the next one.

[00:08:52] Jill: And, and that’s in like five groups of three, correct? The Yes. They call

[00:08:58] Alison: it an. .

[00:08:58] Matt Stutzman: Yep. Yep. You shoot three arrows and then there’s usually, you know, like a minute, minute and a half or, you know, you have a, a summon down at the target that scores the arrows and brings you back your arrows, and then you, you do that five times.

Correct. Okay.

[00:09:13] Jill: It’s head to head matchup, but. How do you build strategy? Is it, I mean, you, you’re head-to-head against somebody, but you’re also you versus a target, so mm-hmm. , how do you build a strategy for a match? Or is it just like, I gotta hit 10 all the

[00:09:27] Matt Stutzman: time? I’m always striving cuz I, you know, for the middle.

So my strategy there, lemme back up a little bit. There is a little bit of strategy. . For me, it’s mainly hitting the 10, and I’m gonna tell you why. If usually I try like to be the highest seed going into a match, I try my best to always put a lot of stock into qualification because if you’re the number one seed, you get to decide things like which side of the, like what you know, there’s which target, or if you shoot first or second, and I’ll tell you why that’s important.

You wanna normally shoot [00:10:00] first because if you open up the whole elimination round with a 10, that kind of sets the bar and you don’t really have the pressure, the guy who’s chasing you has the pressure because he now knows Matt just shot a 10 and if I shoot a nine, I’m gonna be a point down right now.

Right. And right off the bat you can kind of get in their head a little bit. I have had this happen to me before. I’m one of the slower shooters. My process just takes a little bit longer than most, and people have rushed their shot process to put me into a time pickle . I don’t, for example, I’m shooting outdoor nationals.

Uh, I’m made to the gold medal mat. This is able-bodied. I’m shooting against Chris. and he knows, and at that point, the time was still 20 seconds an arrow. And he knows I struggle with the time. And because of that, like he just, he shoots first, he draws the bow back and gets on target and lets it fly.

He shoots his arrow in like two seconds. Well, I’m, I don’t, I’m not even ready. So now I’m rushed to get ready, load to bow and quick get ready, and then, and then he’s sitting there waiting. So as soon as I shoot. by the time I get my bow, I almost sit down to grab an arrow. He’s already shot his second shot.

You see what I’m saying? So he pushed, he puts me in this big rush where, cuz if you run out of time, you know you get a zero. People have, he was successful at that. I ended up second there and then we changed the rules. in the parasite to 30 seconds, and I’ve trained enough now that people in their mind think they can rush me, but it doesn’t matter anymore.

[00:11:34] Jill: what was that training


[00:11:35] Matt Stutzman: It was a lot of out of the comfort zone stuff where I did because I’m a slow shooter. I like to pick my time and I have, you know, a way I do things. And so what I learned to do was speed up the process. But do it while still maintaining control. And I did that by just lots and lots of just practicing that s that exact moment.

One of the ways I did that is I shot against my boys and we have an Archer game on the Xbox and they use the Xbox and I do real. Because the, in Xbox, everything goes fast on Xbox, so they, they shoot fast and then I actually, you know, compete against them. And to this day I can still beat them even though they’re on the Xbox.

I can out shoot the Xbox uneasy, which is crazy. But that’s, you know, one of the, one of the training methods I used. Get the

[00:12:28] Alison: kids involved. I love it.

[00:12:30] Matt Stutzman: Yep. Mm-hmm. , , they don’t like pulling arrows. I’m like, all right, here, I don’t you uh,

You know what kind of exercise you get when you uh, have to walk half a football field one way every five minutes for eight hours, , it’s actually good for you, .

[00:12:45] Alison: So what kind of off field training are you doing as.

[00:12:49] Matt Stutzman: I don’t know how long you followed my career, but in 2016 I was overweight a, by a lot.

At that point I didn’t think being the best in the world had anything to do with weight. You shot a bow, you weren’t running a, you know, a triathlon or whatever. And then I had a, a guy named Michael, uh Johnson, the Olympic runner. He’s like, Hey Matt, look it man. Like if you really wanna be a true athlete, you gotta play the part, which means you have to do everything.

You can’t just be the guy who sits in a chair that’s 200 and whatever pounds you have to train, like, you know. And so I, after my loss in, in Rio I took that to heart and you know, I lost what is like 60 some pounds. I’ve been that way actually. Since 2007, let’s see, about 17 or 18. I’ve lost that around then, and I’ve maintained that.

And I trained in the gym. I train in my yard. I do a lot of me. In fact, actually what I did is, is cut back on actual physical archery training. I don’t do that as much. I focus more on mental training and strength training really. I have learned that that helps. Ironically enough because it, you know, I don’t know if you guys, do have you, did you play Nintendo back in the day or do you like puzzles or crosswords or any of that?

You ever work on something that’s like really hard and you spend like hours and you can’t figure it out and you just say, I’m gonna go to bed. You go to bed, you wake up and you just solve it right away. Mm-hmm. , sometimes that’s what happens. With archery, I struggle and struggle and struggle and then I’ll just put the bow up for a week and I’ll come back out and I’ll like crush a world record.

And I, I think I learned that I just need, sometimes your body, your brain just needs to separate that for a while. It’s not going away. You’ve been pr trading for a long time to do it. It just needs that separation of doing something different.

[00:14:38] Jill: when you lost the weight, what differences did you know?


[00:14:43] Alison: seriously? Cause it comes

[00:14:44] Jill: on slowly, but like, taking it off, you noticed things,

[00:14:48] Matt Stutzman: you know. There was times where I was very frustrated, like, Because I, even when I was big, I still was okay with who I was as a person. Mm-hmm. . So there was times where I’m not gonna lie, I’m gonna be [00:15:00] like, I just wanna be big again, because I was shooting better

I know that sounds really stupid, but everything changes. You know, like your body’s just used to a certain thing. And when you’re talking about a precision sport, Where everything is set up, you know, and you’re used to it. When you lose a bunch of weight, things get changed, you get shakier uh, you get, you know, obviously not as stable as, I guess the same as shaky, but you learn that your stability and your control isn’t as good.

And I know that. sounds dumb, but I also have a theory on that too. And this is, I don’t know if we’re talking theories today, but.

When you’re a little bit heavier, you’re more stable. If you talk to all the competitive shooters that shoot rifle, they wear weighted vests. They wear weight on purpose to remain steady. And I’m not promoting being big while shooting because you also have to be healthy. But I think there is something to it a little bit because uh, when you’re heavier, you’re less affected by a wind blowing you.

You know, it takes more wind to move you. And, and there also is, once weighted is in motion, it stays in motion. There is that theory as well, but by that time, you’ve already shot your arrow and you moved on to the next one. And so when I transitioned to being 60 pounds lighter, it took a good year at least to kind of gain that confidence back that I had made the right decision and that I could still shoot at, at a good level while not being as.

[00:16:29] Jill: Besides health benefits, is there an athletic benefit to being lighter in your sport?

[00:16:34] Matt Stutzman: I don’t know. You know, it’s more just the benefit for me. I, I will tell you this, I can shoot f you know, I could honestly go out now and shoot for, you know, eight hours and still be okay to do other things like, I don’t get as tired as fast, my longevity of shooting is much, much better.

But other than that, I don’t really see much besides the personal of what you had said earlier about just, you know, being healthy. I don’t really see much of an advantage to being, skinnier while shooting, you know,

[00:17:05] Jill: squats or lung.

[00:17:06] Matt Stutzman: I did handstands when it allows me to

the other day, some, I was at the gym and someone said, and this might have been a year or two back, but someone’s like, someone had messaged me like, what are you working on today? And I, I had my spotter, I had her, she was standing over me and she was holding. The bench press bar and it looked like, and I was doing this and it looked like it was, I was doing it myself, , and I sent a picture.

It looked like I

[00:17:35] Alison: was bench pressing .

[00:17:38] Matt Stutzman: I’m like, I’m working, I’m working on these guns. And then I, they’re, it’s funny cuz their response is like Uh, oh. What did we just learned? Does that mean you have arms? Which means you shouldn’t be in the Paralympic division right now? I’m like, oh, shoot. Maybe I shouldn’t post that.

[00:17:53] Alison: be careful who you send these pictures to. Matt .

[00:17:57] Matt Stutzman: Uh, It was, you know, most people get my humor. But you know, I, I don’t have a preference on the workout as far. Squat, squats probably be more of my favorite. .

[00:18:07] Alison: Okay. You mentioned wind and getting blown around. So I want to talk a little bit about weather, because I know in Tokyo that was a big factor.

Mm-hmm. . So how does weather play a factor in making adjustments and, and what you’re dealing with?

[00:18:20] Matt Stutzman: Yeah. You know, When you have wind blowing left to right and circulating, let’s say you think you aim in the middle and you shoot in the middle and you hit five inches to the left or six inches to the right, and there are nines instead of tens.

that’s the wind we’re talking about. That’s what’s persuading your shot. So you have to on the fly, almost pre predict where the wind’s gonna be before you shoot. and the only way to do that is experience. Cause like I said, you don’t have a lot of time, so you pretty much have to just be in it all the time.

I I remember several years ago I was getting ready for Arizona Cup and I remember going down and there there was probably five or six professional archers at this, building that I was at. Uh, I was in Utah and every one of them, The whole week leading up to the tournament, they were all shooting inside, and I was the only one outside and it was windy.

I was getting blown all over the place and all that kind of stuff, and everybody kind of gave me crap, if that’s allowed to say. Everybody kind of gave me that because wh you know, why, why are you outside when you don’t need to be? Well, when the tournament came, it was. I’d been out on all week and they were professionals and they were indoors, but it took ’em.

It took ’em half a half a tournament to get used to the wind again, but that was what I needed. That was what I needed to pull out. The wind though, that first half is where I, you know, they couldn’t catch me after that. So there was some benefit of, if I were to give advice, unless it’s 30 miles an hour and balling you completely off of your stool, it’s okay to shoot in the wind.

We have to shoot in wind anyway, so you might as well learn the wind.

[00:19:56] Alison: What about heat, cold and humidity.

[00:19:59] Matt Stutzman: [00:20:00] Humidity is a, Tokyo was bad for humidity and the heat was just like, I never shot anything quite like that before You could shower, walk outside, just stand there and just instantly be covered in sweat again.

it was just that hot. Well, we actually had bows falling apart because it was so hot, some of the glue that they were using. There was competitors Bowes that were falling apart. And I mean, I was, it was, it was crazy. But what got me in, Tokyo was my confidence cuz I did have some me mechanical issues with my bows and then I never just gained confidence back in them.

I know that sounds crazy, but I just didn’t have as much faith in ’em as before I got there and it wasn’t because the bow manufacturer was bad, my bow showed up. Broken. So I put ’em on a plane in Iowa, they’re good to go. I showed up in Japan and opened my boat case and they’re in pieces and so I actually had to find parts that they didn’t have and put parts from other things together and kind of Frankenstein a boat together just to shoot the games.

And it was shooting good, but my confidence just wasn’t there. And for as much as you tell yourself that you’ve prepared for that moment mentally , it’s really hard to overcome that. .

[00:21:11] Alison: Okay, so what is involved in transporting a bow?

[00:21:15] Matt Stutzman: Yeah. A lot of people say you put a bow on a plane. Yep. , they go in these big cases and they go underneath the plane.

when you check in, you tell ’em you have a bow, and you see it when you arrive at the other, at the end of the destination. It’s pretty, pretty simple actually. In 13 years of flying with a bow, I’ve. . I’ve got lucky enough I’ve never really, I think I had one loss one time, but it showed up a week later.

Other than that, never had any issues. Besides broken bows. I have had several broken bows but majority of the time it’s safe.

[00:21:49] Jill: Does that count as oversized luggage or are you lucky enough that it’s an average size that they’ll take without, a fee. That’s what

[00:21:57] Alison: I’m going for.

[00:21:58] Matt Stutzman: no, this is, you know, , let me tell you that there are some advantages of having no arms, and I’m gonna tell you one of them are, you can , if you walk into an airport and you’re carrying your bow and, and you have no arms, right? They kind of feel sorry for you. So 90% of the time, they’re just. They waved the

They’re like, I don’t know if they’re just afraid to charge me or , but they don’t ever ask. They’re like okay, well sir, Mr. Stutzman, thanks for flying with, you know, whoever. Here’s your stickers. We’ll see how enjoy your flight. I’m like, thank you. You know, so, but I have heard from other people depending on the airlines and how they’re feeling that day, they can charge oversize.

You know, one place was trying to charge 150 bucks, but if you kept your receipt from the flight there, which was, it’s usually, let’s be honest, it’s usually about 50. , maybe on the high side, maybe 75 bucks to fly your, your bow one way, usually. But here’s what’s cool about it. You know, you have a weight limit, so if you’re underweight, you can also put your clothes in there, right?

So you don’t need to ca, you know, take multiple check-ins or carry-ons or whatever you call it. .

[00:23:10] Alison: And the clothes can cushion. Yeah. Protect

[00:23:13] Matt Stutzman: the bow. Yep, . And then you get to where you’re going and you open it up and you’re like, why is my underwear on that side? Cause I know I put it on this side. , . Why is my socks move?

You know? And then you realize that in you realize in the bow case they had looked through your stuff. But I mean, they do that on every, everything. Anyway. ,

[00:23:31] Alison: how expensive is your bow?

[00:23:34] Matt Stutzman: Well, if you were to fully buy my setup um, you’re probably talking. Close to three grand or even probably 3,500 bucks for one setup.

Arrows are expensive too. People don’t understand, but you’re talking 80 bucks for one arrow. So if you roll into a tournament with 24 arrows the, on the low end , and then it can be expensive.

[00:23:58] Jill: Do you have to provide your

[00:23:59] Matt Stutzman: own arrow? I’m lucky enough once again that I’m sponsored. So, but you have to

[00:24:03] Jill: bring your own to a tournament.

So you set up with the boat and with the arrows and I, I’m guessing you have to go through an inspection for everything

[00:24:10] Alison: as

[00:24:10] Matt Stutzman: well. Yep, everything, everything’s gotta fit the rules. In fact the company send me the products and I actually build them myself to make ’em fit to my bow. So I get all these components and then I saw and cut and glue and everything, and I put ’em together.

And then I have to write my initials on ’em. The reason why you write your initials if you have a miss or it goes through the target, somehow they can verify that it was your shot and your arrow. And then. Yeah, but now not to scare anybody away, the stuff that I use is like the most high-end possible that you can use in, in the sport of archery.

So, and arrows last a really long time in, you know, they might have their life cycle and phase like I I’ll every year. I, you know, I start with a new several dozen every single year, but I have [00:25:00] arrows from. 2016 that I still use in practice that still hit the middle. They might have a slight wobble, but they’re still good enough for practice, you know, so they do last a very long time.

if you take care of them,

[00:25:12] Alison: what happens to an arrow that causes it to not be as prime?

[00:25:18] Matt Stutzman: they get bent they get a little bit of a wobble in them. And, and it’s funny because visually looking at them, you wouldn’t know this, but every time I pull arrows, whoever’s helping me pull arrows, On the way back, they inspect the arrows one by one.

They can do it pretty quickly, and then they spin ’em in their hand. If you spin ’em in your hand you can actually feel like a little bit of a vibration. And that’s how we know that that’s about Arrow. We’ll take the knock off when we put it back in my chair, it still might hit the target, but it might be a nine versus a 10.

Right? And we’re talking about the one point is a big difference in this game.

[00:25:55] Jill: What’s your pathway to qualify for Paris?

[00:25:58] Matt Stutzman: Well, this year we have war championships again. . So we have a tournament in the United States called trials, and based on that trials process, the top four of us in the United States we’ll go to world Championships and then depending on how we finish, we got at least finish in the top 16.

And by doing that, we will earn what we call slots 14 usa. , we can earn up to three slots. Then next year after we’ve earned those slots, this year, next year, we will once again have another tournament in the United States. And it’s a long, drawn out process over the course of several weeks or even several different tournaments, and at the end, the top three in the United States that finished that qualification.

Trials process actually get to go represent America in Paris. So it’s a long road. if I can qualify again, this will be my fourth games.

[00:26:58] Alison: what’s different now that you’re old in the sport? . . I know that’s, that’s to where you started. No,

[00:27:05] Matt Stutzman: you know, listen, that’s completely fair and I love that. I tell that, I tell that to myself all the time. I am still one of the youngest guys on the team though, which is crazy. I, I know there’s some new and up comers, but usually the top five of us who are usually at all the tournaments that usually win all of it.

I’m still the youngest by a year or something like that, , so I feel like I’m good to go. However, I will say my longevity in the sport is. I am not super certain enough and, and um, I’ve been having some I hip issues, you know, in the past year. If you watch how I shoot, my body’s just not meant to do that, right?

So, What we can figure out is that my body, cause I’ve been doing this for 13 years and, and I was shooting eight hours a day for most of those 13 years. My body just doesn’t ever get a break. So if I’m shooting eight hours a day and then I’m going to the gym, and then I’m doing my normal daily life, which is still taking, you know, I gotta feed myself.

I use my foot and my foot’s up on the table and I’m eating and my hip is con my, my legs never get a break because, They don’t have off days like hands. You would, you would do your exercise with your legs, but then you shoot your, both your arms so your legs aren’t doing anything. And I think I’m just wearing my body out, to be honest.

So my plan is to go to Paris. I’m still shooting good, I’m still shooting great scores, but I can’t tell you how mu, I mean, at some point I gotta figure out if Four is enough or is five enough? And then, cuz otherwise I’m probably gonna have to, I, I bet you someday I’ll have to have hip surgery, But that is, I would, I would never go back and change my decision. I would do the same thing over and over again. But that’s just how it is with me.

[00:28:48] Alison: do you ever wear shoes?

[00:28:50] Matt Stutzman: Actually I do. Yeah. Yep. It’s funny because when you talk about being a rule pusher, one of the rules in world archery and U S C archery is that you have to wear close towed shoes when you’re shooting . And I was like, I was like, Rob, he’s the president. I was like, listen, man, like. Does that mean I can’t shoot?

Cuz I obviously gotta take my shoe off to shoot a bow. , I gotta hold the bow in my foot, but your rules state that I gotta wear closed shoes, towed shoes, . And of course they laughed and they was like, no, we’re not worried about you. And they made the exception. However, if somebody really wanted to protest me by a law, they could probably get away with it, but no one does.

But on the field of, of play where. . I wear shoes on my left foot the entire time. Cause my left foot is more just for balance. If I walk down to the target, I slip on my shoe. If I walk back, I take it off. That kind of stuff. I will tell you though, I wear, I need to find a sock sponsor because I go through hundreds and hundreds of pairs of socks.

Cause those are like my glove. , right? Just to kind of help keep my feet clean. And if they get holes in ’em, I just throw ’em away. But otherwise flip flops if I’m around the [00:30:00] house, just so I have easier access to things, if I go out shoes. some, you know, somewhere nice, but,

[00:30:05] Alison: and then in the snow right now, , it would be a little scary.

You know, listen, I wear shorts right now. I know

[00:30:13] Matt Stutzman: that sounds crazy. Everybody’s like, you know, it’s snow , there’s snow on the ground, it’s like 10 foot of snow or whatever, and you’re out here in shorts. And I’d be like, well, when I was younger I used to wear jeans in the winter and. I remember going into a restaurant and when I took off my sock shoe and I to eat, I took my, put my foot on the table, it got, there was snow on the bottom of my pants and it went like all over the table.

And I was like, that’s stupid. You know, my bottom of my pants froze. And I was like, that’s dumb. So I was like, I’m just gonna wear shorts. So now I wear shorts pretty much all year round.

[00:30:47] Jill: Bring back some

[00:30:50] Matt Stutzman: nickers. Come on. Yeah, I’m trying.


[00:30:58] Jill: thank you so much.

[00:30:59] Matt Stutzman: Thank you so much guys. Thank

[00:31:00] Alison: Thank you so much, Matt.

[00:31:01] Jill: Thank you so much Matt. You can follow Matt on Twitter. and Instagram, he is armless Archer at both of those places. And on Facebook. He is the armless archer. Do you remember the commercial that was the lead up to the Paralympics last year for team?

[00:31:15] Alison: Well, I remember how excited you and your respective other half were about this commercial

[00:31:22] Jill: so This was a commercial where it was all Paralympians and said, you know, yeah, you watched the Olympics, but now you gotta tune in for the real show. You gotta watch us. And there was maybe it was two seconds of Matt Stutzman shooting the cherry off the top of a cake and he looks at the camera and goes, boom.

We still say that all the time in our house. . Well,

[00:31:43] Alison: the accent came through when we talked to him, that’s for sure. So I, I understood your love of boom. A lot better after, after our conversation with Matt .

[00:31:53] Jill: Exactly. I will put a link to that commercial in the show notes too.

Seoul 1988 History Moment

[00:31:56] Jill: That sound means it is time for our history moment all year long. We are looking at the Seoul 1988 Olympics as it is the 35th anniversary of those games. Alison, it is your turn for a story. What do you got first?

[00:32:12] Alison: I got archery since we’re talking archery today, and I also have another new event for women in 1980.

Oh, women did not compete in archery until 1988.

[00:32:25] Jill: Really? Yes. There was nothing like in like 1904 or or early days. Not that I

[00:32:31] Alison: could find. They have it listed as new for 88 because you know, those arrows are dangerous for us. Delicate females. Oh my goodness. But it was a doozy of a competition. They had both the individual event and the team event.

There were 15 countries represented in the team event. Basically it was any country who could pull together three archers got in the first round , and it was great that it was in Korea. Since Korea has such a long history of archery and children in Korea actually practice archery as part of their PE in elementary.

[00:33:07] Jill: I love it. You gotta start ’em when they’re young. That’s what, that’s why their programs are so

[00:33:11] Alison: strong. Right? And this was absolutely the beginning of the domination of South Korea in team archery especially. So in the team competition, there were three rounds in the first round. South Korea took the lead by over a hundred points.

Oh my goodness. Never let go of the lead. There was never a doubt that they were going to win the gold medal. After the first round, the Soviet Union was in second place and Chinese Taipei was in third. Hmm. Semi-finals. Chinese Taipei completely collapses. Slides down to 11th place and doesn’t even make the final.

Whoa. Yes. No, no joke. I, I could not find details as to why they fell apart, but completely collapsed. So in the final round, Indonesia and the US tied with 952 points beating the Soviet Union by one point. So now the Soviet Union is definitely in fourth, and now we’re gonna have a tie break for the silver and bronze.

Nine arrows each for the three archers. The Indonesians shot a 72, the American shot a 67. Oh wow. So this, this silver was the first Olympic medal for Indonesia in any sport.

Whoa. And with the bronze 15 year old American, Denise Parker became the youngest Olympic medalist ever in archery.

[00:34:35] Jill: Wow. Very cool. You know, as you said, the Indonesia thing, that triggered a, a memory There is a movie about that, an Indonesian movie, about that team, and it was on Netflix for a time and I only watched a little bit of it cuz I didn’t have time to watch the whole thing.

But I’ll, I’ll look that up because there, there is a movie about that, that team and those archers and, and also kind of the [00:35:00] struggle to be allowed to compete as well. excellent story.


[00:35:05] Jill: Two . Now is the time of the show where we check in with our team, keep the flame alive. These are past guests of the show who, along with our listeners, make up our Shk citizens, and Csan is our very own country.

[00:35:24] Alison: NoDa combined skier, Anika Lesinski, finished her World Cup season with a 20th place finished in Oslow.

This was her third top 20 finish in the 2223 circuit, so great job for her.

[00:35:37] Jill: Evan dfi. Our race walker was named Sport bcs. That’s British Columbia male Athlete of the year. Stephen

[00:35:44] Alison: EMT received the Fair Play Award at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships, and this is voted on by fellow athletes.

[00:35:52] Jill: And just a reminder that the Magnificent seven, the musical, about the 1996 Women’s Gymnastics competition starts on March 31st at the Flint Repertory Theater.

We talked with Julia and Gordon, the creators of that show. So, if you see it, let us know. Book Club Claire and I are going, so I’m excited about that.

Paris 2024 Update

[00:36:12] Jill: We are 500 days away from Paris, 2024, less than 500. Now, as you listen to

[00:36:24] Alison: this , Did you see all the 500 day posts and start to panic?

[00:36:28] Jill: Little bit. It still seems like a long way away because it’s three numbers.

When we start getting to one year out and we’re talking single digit then I’ll start freaking me out. But

we’re getting to another phase of the ticket lottery. phase one is over. They sold 3.25 million tickets and the organizer says that there are about 10 million tickets total. So we’ve gone through about a third of them. That phase exceeded their expectations, so they closed it a little early.

Two sports sold out on the first day climbing and BMX free. , which is interesting. And what I, I mean, they said two sports sold out. they were at a uh, press conference that was in part of their 500 days out announcements. And I didn’t understand whether they’ve sold out totally or just sold out in that phase,

[00:37:18] Alison: so, right, because was there a certain number of tickets allocated for each phase for certain sports, but I would expect climbing and BMX to have relatively small.

Seating areas so they could have Right.

[00:37:31] Jill: Sold out. Yeah, don’t know, because they’re all gonna be kind of in the same little urban park area as well. So we’ll see how that goes. Sign up for the next phase starts March 15th, which is today as we’re taping. So it’s already open for you. You can sign up through April 20th at 6:00 PM Paris time. If you are selected, you’ll get an email 48 hours before your ticket window opens. This email process starts on May 9th, so check your spam

[00:37:59] Alison: Alison. Check my spam. Spam, yeah, . It’s my chance.

[00:38:03] Jill: If you’re selected, you will get an email.

Supposedly before May 9th with the 48 hour purchase slot time. The actual sale begins on May 11th. This is everything is first come, first served on this one, so they are selling 1.5 million tickets in this phase. All sports will be available. Opening and closing ceremonies will be

[00:38:27] Alison: available. Okay, so that’s the first time we’re seeing ceremony tickets?

[00:38:30] Jill: Yes. Mm-hmm. . Don’t know much about opening ceremony tickets except for the fact that the root along theen that’s gonna be six kilometers long, so they can fit a lot of people in there. They say 70,000 tickets total will be available and they will range from zero euros to 2,700 Euros. Well, yeah, I mean, it’s opening ceremonies, I mean,

I mean, they, they talk about , the opening ceremonies will take place along Theen, but they still gotta end up somewhere. There is still a stadium aspect to this. Event, and there’s still gonna be some kind of production involved as well. Those tickets for that stadium, they’re gonna be expensive because they’re high demand tickets.

For the free tickets, there will be an application process. We don’t know anything more about that. We don’t know when that will start. We don’t know how many tickets will be free. We don’t know what the application process involves, but we’ll keep an eye on that for you. Just know that there will be free tickets available for the opening ceremonies along the send, and you can imagine if they’re free.

I don’t know. I think further down the. , I would think.

[00:39:40] Alison: And also I assume you’re just gonna be getting a space of grass. I don’t think they’re gonna be setting up seats all along there. Yeah, I

[00:39:49] Jill: don’t know. That’s a good question. Or if there are seats, those tickets might be more expensive.

[00:39:54] Alison: Bring your own chair

[00:39:55] Jill: So this phase also, This ticket lottery [00:40:00] phase, about 10% of these tickets, so we’re looking at about 150,000. Those will be available for 24 euros, and we’ll link to the ticket catalog and the show notes. Expect those low price tickets to be for non-ed events, except for things like marathon and race walking where there’s a tiny seating area by the

[00:40:24] Alison: finish.

and they will go quick. They will go in the first couple days of this round. That’s what happened the first time around.

[00:40:30] Jill: Mm-hmm. . Exactly. So it’s gonna be tough. If you are selected for later in the phase, you may find that there’s not much available or it’s expensive for your budget. We’ll see. You can buy a maximum of six single tickets per session, and if it’s a high demand session, your max is four. it’ll be interesting to see what people think about this phase because there were a lot of people that were really disappointed about the first phase and how expensive tickets. But I also think that’s the reality of putting on the games. They’ve gotta recoup their costs somehow and there’s a lot of demand and they do have people from all over the world are coming.

Also starting to see announcements about team hospitality houses. This is what

[00:41:14] Alison: I’m excited about. .

[00:41:15] Jill: Yeah. Yeah. If you don’t get tickets, like seriously, you could spend your whole Olympics and Paralympics too. Probably hopping from house to house. These are venues that show off the culture of a country or their place where you can go and.

The games get a little food. Sometimes the houses are ticketed and restricted. Sometimes they’re restricted just to family and, and friends of the athletes. That tends to be what happens with team u s a house that tends to be really, really tough to get into. There were no team hospitality houses in Tokyo, obviously, but there were 50 in Rio.

Expect there to be a fairly big comeback, I think for the hospitality houses here. we know that Ireland is planning a family house that’s just for family members, but they will also have a supporter’s house that will likely be more public, that will be at o Sullivan’s by the mill next to the Mulan Rouge in peal.

[00:42:16] Alison: Wow. . Do not go there without a helmet.

[00:42:20] Jill: Wait, wait a helmet, my things

[00:42:22] Alison: may be flying around that room. Well, okay, I say helmet cuz I’m five feet tall, so if somebody drops a drink, it’s hitting me in the head.

[00:42:32] Jill: Team Germany has announced that its house will be at Jean Bwe Stadium, which is near Roland Garros, the tennis venue, and India has also announced that it will have its first ever house, which is very exciting.

But we don’t know yet where the, their house will be located.

[00:42:49] Alison: So I am, I am planning to participate in India House because I’m expecting Bollywood numbers to break out at any given moment. , I wanna be a part of

[00:42:59] Jill: that. Oh my gosh. And that place will be packed if Nira Chopra gets. Into the games again and is looking to defend his javelin medal, gold medal from Tokyo.

That place is going to be packed and it is going to be just, it could be an amazing spectacle to be part of that. . It could also be tough if, if things don’t go the right way, wear a helmet

for them. Also, Fran TV is reporting that there are troubles with the lodging into hedi. I did a little Google Translate on this article, so this is my understanding of what the situation is. The event needs over 300 rooms. They were going to be renovating the hotel in teu, which Tepo is the part of the island. It’s a peninsula on the south side. That’s where the, the competition’s going to be at. So that hotel was going to house everyone, but it only had 180 rooms. So no problem. You just renovate the hotel, right? And apparently the work did not start on time and the financing has fallen through.

So we are onto plan. , France TV info says athletes will be staying on ships, and the organizing committee is also looking at home stays. So we will see what happens for this. And, and it makes me think, no wonder there are no tickets for this event. And I spent some time looking at Tahiti today, and most of the, the big hotels like the, Hilton chain and the Intercontinental, the big chain hotels are.

Opposite side of the island and it takes about an hour and a half to drive to where the surfing competition is. I, I just envisioned Lake Placid all over again. If you had so many organizers and athletes and spectators trying to get to the other side of the island, it would just be back now.

Right? Cuz

[00:44:56] Alison: we don’t exactly have. Giant highways running through [00:45:00] Tahiti . You know, the, because they don’t need it. they don’t have that kind of, industry on this island where you’re moving giant trucks on a interstate highway. That’s just not how it works. but cruise ships worked for Rio.

Remember the, the US basketball team women’s and men stayed on a cruise ship and that many athletes then kind of would cover. Half the athletes that are in surfing? No, just numbers. So that could work out okay. Homestays sound a little scary. Oh. But it could be

[00:45:32] Jill: fun. That’s true. I thought, well, are there hotels on that side of the island?

But everything around there, like things on the coast looked like very much bungalow stays where they had a handful of bungalows that you could rent. And that’s just not gonna cut it.

[00:45:46] Alison: Unfortunately. I have always wanted to stay at one of those overwater bungalows with the water slide that goes right into the ocean.

Oh, . That is a dream vacation of mine.

[00:45:56] Jill: There you go. it’ll be interesting to see what surfing is like at Paris 2024 and if it really feels like it’s part of the Olympics, I think if you’re watching tv. , it would feel like part of the games because it’s just something that you’re gonna select to stream.

But if you’re in France, it’s not gonna feel like it’s there at all. And if you’re there, are you just gonna feel like it’s another stop on the tour?

[00:46:21] Alison: What will make it Olympic? I mean, obviously you get your medal and the whole pomp and circumstance around it, but it is not part of a multi-sport event.

Mm-hmm. .

[00:46:30] Jill: And it’ll be interesting. I guess LA is gonna be the first opportunity where it feels like it’s really part of the games. Cuz unfortunately we can’t look at Tokyo since Tokyo is just different games altogether. I’m

[00:46:43] Alison: ready. I’m ready for La

I will go to surfing. I will never go on a surfboard cuz I don’t wanna die. Talk about needing a helmet.

[00:46:54] Jill: if you got on a surfboard, you would have all this gear on. Of course the board attached to your ankle, but then the fear would be that if you fell into the water, the gear would just wait you down. Fair enough. Maybe we just get one of those little noodles and tie it around you. We get you. Okay. If, if, we get you a noodle and we put it around your neck like lizz, the frill necked lizard mascot from Sydney 2002 Paralympic Games, which if you’re a patron, you’ll learn about at Mascot Madness.

Our new episode that’s shopping this month, just saying, well, I,

[00:47:35] Alison: I’m thinking, getting me on a surfboard and filming, that would be amazing. Patreon. Content , because I think people would pay to see that. To see if I survive and just laugh at how poorly I did . So that’s something to look forward to. Maybe we’ll try it.

[00:47:57] Jill: Summer’s coming. And we would like to give a shout out to all of our patrons and supporters who keep our flame alive, and all of you who tell friends about the show and participate in our Facebook groups.

Hit us up on dms talk with us on Twitter and Insta. We so appreciate your sport and your involvement with the show. If you would like to support the show further, Like we said, we have Mascot Madness available for Patreon patrons who contribute at a certain level of money every month.

You can find out slash support, Also don’t forget, we have our q and a coming up with Andrew Marinis. We’re gonna talk Inaugural Ballers with him on Monday, March 27th. So if you are interested in coming to that, that is Monday evening, March 27th, 9:00 PM Eastern, 8:00 PM Central.

Please hit us up with an email to rsvp. That’s flame life pod And that’s gonna do it for this week. Let us know what you think of Para

[00:48:58] Alison: Archery and you can email us at flame alive pod Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s 2 0 8. Flame it. Our social handle is at Flame Alive Pod.

Be sure to join the Keep the Flame Alive podcast group on Facebook and don’t forget to get our weekly newsletter filled with other fun stories from this week’s episode. And you can sign up for

[00:49:28] Jill: For future episodes, like we usually forward promote what’s coming up next week. But we have a bunch of interviews scheduled. We are very excited about them, but they don’t happen until they happen. But these interviews could be talking about Bacha pole vault and perhaps commentary with the beloved obs commentator just saying.

So look forward to that and thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame.