U.S. archer Matt Stutzman participates in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Aug. 30, 2012.
U.S. archer Matt Stutzman participates in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Aug. 30, 2012.

Earth, Wind, and Water with Dr. Skateboard, The Armless Archer, and Jud Ready

English: D. Myles Cullen, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Free Audio
  • Ad-Free Audio
  • Ad-Free Video

About This Episode

How do you shoot an arrow without arms? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice break down more Olympics events– swimming pools, archery, and skateboarding– with materials scientist Jud Ready, “Armless Archer” Matt Stutzman, and physics professor Bill “Dr. Skateboard” Robertson. 

We dive into swimming pools: are some pools better built for speed than others? Jud Ready walks us through the fastest swimming pool in the United States at Georgia Tech. Find out about aquatic drafting and the reverberation of waves in the pool. Learn about the materials science at play in swimming pools. Some pools are just built different. 

Next, we talk with Matt Stutzman, “The Armless Archer,” about his records, Olympic Archery, and how to use a bow without arms. You’ll learn how paralympic divisions work and which one Matt is in. How did he adjust for wind and gravity to hit his world record of 310 yards? How much math is involved? Find out Matt’s journey to become an Olympic Archer and how much of his brain is used for “foot stuff.” Plus, Matt gives us a demo on the mechanics of how he shoots a bow. 

Dr. Skateboard instructs us on what Olympic skateboarding looks like. How can you use a skateboard to teach physics? We go over the different categories of skateboarding events. How does skateboarding differ from snowboarding besides snow? How does using gravity change a move versus using your leg to build speed? We discuss the technology of skateboarding and how it’s not just a sport, it’s a culture. All that and more on another episode of StarTalk Sports Edition!

Thanks to our Patrons Nicholas Grigalashvili, Jilam Dickson, Aden Hahn, Kaz Barnes, Ashleigh Cooper, Ridge Kimani, Tom Cardarella, ​​Michael Webber, Justin Nelson, and Mike Reno for supporting us this week.

Photo Credit: English:  D. Myles Cullen, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

In This Episode

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more

Episode Topics