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Republican National Convention Kicks Off in Florida; Interview with Matt Stutzman, the Armless Archer

Aired August 29, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Imagine winning an international competition, but then watching the runner up walk away with all the prize money. The explanation on that`s coming up in just a bit. Welcome to this Wednesday edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS.

First up, we are talking about the first full day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Tuesday kicked off with some official business including the roll call of delegates. Now, you are familiar with taking roll. This one isn`t about attendance. It`s to show that Mitt Romney has enough support to officially get his party`s nomination, and he`ll be officially nominated tomorrow. Delegates also voted on the party`s platform yesterday, that`s the official Republican position on major political issues. More than 2200 delegates are expected to be in Tampa this week, the youngest one there is the same age as some of you, 17-year old Evan Draim (ph) and he talked about his interest in politics and how he got to Tampa.


EVAN DRAIM, REPUBLICAN DELEGATE: I consider my interest in politics a result of my family background. My family immigrated to the United States as Hungarian refugees, I think to give me the economic freedom and individual liberty that they lacked in their homeland, and my involvement in politics, and especially the conservative movement, I think is really meant to preserve those values for me and my descendants in years to come. To become a delegate, I got elected by the voters from my district at the district convention in May, I ran a campaign about four months, reaching out to those voters through phone calls and in person appearances, and I really credit my victory to the fact that the Republican Party understands that young voters have been especially impacted by this president`s policies that we really - the negative impact of his policies is keeping a lot of students from achieving the opportunities and freedom that their parents achieved as Americans, and they wanted to send a younger representative to Tampa to have a part in finding a solution to those problems.

President Obama, the likely Democratic nominee is out on the campaign trail this week, and making some stops on college campuses. Yesterday, he visited Iowa State and Colorado State, today he is scheduled to be at the University of Virginia. If you go to our home page,, check out the spotlight section, and click on the link to the CNN election center, that`s where you can keep up with all of the news out of Tampa like last night speeches from Ann Romney and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

It was this day in history, August 29th back in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast. Federal agencies described that as the single most catastrophic natural disaster in U.S. history.

The impact of Hurricane Katrina spread along a huge section of the U.S. Gulf Coast, 1833 people died, most of those were in Louisiana. More than a million Gulf Coast residents were forced out of their homes, 80 percent of the city of New Orleans flooded after levies, this barriers designed to hold back flooding, failed. Officials also say Katrina was the costliest hurricane in the U.S. history: $108 billion in estimated damage.

Seven years later, that same region is dealing with the storm named Isaac, this one isn`t nearly as powerful as Katrina, but the Gulf Coast was taking the threat seriously. This time lapse video shows Isaac on its path through the Caribbean. It was a tropical storm then, it didn`t strengthen into a hurricane until yesterday, hours before it was forecast to be overland today. This video was taken before that, you can already see the effects that Isaac`s rain and winds are having on the water there. Forecasters warn that those conditions could get worse.

Lydia Ko is just like a lot of youth. She is 15, she goes to high school, she is planning to go to college, there is one big difference, though. Lydia got a call from the World Golf Hall of Fame, asking for a memento from her trip to Canada last weekend. Erin Collins of affiliate CBC tells us why.


ERIC COLLINS, CBC CORRESPONDENT: Lydia Ko drove, chipped and putted her way into history.


COLLINS: The 15-year old from New Zealand became the youngest golfer ever to win an LPGA tournament. Ko showed no nerves while holding off older and more experienced golfers to grab the win.

LYDIA KO, AMATEUR GOLFER: I was pretty happy out there, and, you know, I tried to smile the whole round, and I guess it worked, and people back at home said I`m the only one that smiles, and I tried to smile when I make a bogey, too.


COLLINS: Hard to believe, but this isn`t even Ko`s first time in this position. Earlier this year, as a 14-year old, she won a professional event in Australia and just last week, she won the U.S. amateur title. But today`s win in Canada, on one of golf`s biggest stages was special.

KO: I did play my best, and then there -- and I won, so it`s a real honor.

COLLINS: Lydia Ko`s amateur status means her big win today won`t equal a big payday. The $300,000 in prize money she would have won would go to today`s second place finisher. But in the end, it could be her sport that comes out on top.

The hope is that Ko`s clutch performance will get other young women to take up the sport around the world and here in Canada.

MARGLE NICOL, CALGARY LADIES GOLF ASSOCIATION: She was calm, cool, collected, I only saw her hit one bad shot, and it`s amazing for such a young woman.

COLLIN (on camera): And that`s got to be inspiring for just other young people to see.

NICOL: Young people and us old ones, too.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s time for the "Shoutout." What is the second- largest sporting event in the world? If you think you know it, then shout it out! Is it the Super Bowl, World Cup, Paralympics or World Series? Three seconds on the clock, and go!

The Olympics are the biggest and the Paralympics are the world`s second largest sporting event. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: And this year`s Paralympics, which start today, are expected to be the biggest ever, more than 4200 athletes from 166 countries. London is hosting this year`s games, in fact, the Paralympics and Summer Olympics have happened in the same city for the last 24 years. The athletes are competing in 20 different sports, that includes track and field, swimming, fencing, rowing and archery. One of the Paralympics goals is to promote equality for disabled athletes. Piers Morgan talks with an American archer about his experiences in the sport.


PIERCE MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: What astonishing dedication to get to the level you have so quickly, just using your feet. I mean what are your competitors, that when they come up against you? What do they think of this? The guy who fires arrows with no arms.

MATT STUTZMAN, PARALYMPIC ARCHER: I`d like to say that they think that I`m a good competitor, but they probably think, and why is that guy sitting down and shooting with his feet, you know? We have to stand here all day, and he gets there anyway. No, you know hopefully, I think they think that I`m just trying to compete like they are, and be the best at archery.

MORGAN: Well, you are one of the best, you hold the world record for the world`s longest shot -- 230 yards in October last year. We`ve got some footage on this.

STUTZMAN: I dreamed I was going to break the world record, and that dream will come true today.

I`m confident because in all the practicing I`ve been doing, I have been hitting my target on a regular basis.


I hit it!

MORGAN: (inaudible). What`s amazing, it took you four shots, but that wasn`t the Paralympics world record. That was the world record, set by an able-bodied archer.


MORGAN: I mean I know I shouldn`t sound astonished, but I am. You are an astonishing guy, and you`ve got this remarkable spirit, determination. Where do you get that from?

STUTZMAN: I think it`s instilled to me from my parents. My parents really pushed me to be the best that I can be, you know, no matter what I do, and I feel like I learned that from them.

MORGAN: What does it mean to, to be representing America in the Paralympics Games?

STUTZMAN: I`m just smiling, because it`s such an honor and a privilege to be able to do that. When you are little, at least for me, I always dreamt about playing -- you know, playing army or wanting to serve the country. And, you know, I can`t do enough pushups, so, you know, my arms aren`t quite, you know, so the fact that I get to go and represent American in the sport that I love, is kind of my way of saying thank you back.


AZUZ: Before we go, we are going to take you out to the ball game, and no, I`m not going to sing it. Last week, a minor league team in Georgia invited one military family as special guest. Their son has been serving in Afghanistan. Now, watch that player who`s crashing the on-field event.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to talk this over. What do you expect (inaudible)? Because is it right now, by any chance?




AZUZ: He might have been in costume, but his mom sure couldn`t disguise her excitement, and as far as the whole baseball outfit goes, we think it definitely helped him steal her heart. That`s a wrap on CNN STUDENT NEWS. We`ll see you tomorrow.