Zion Clark balancing on one hand
instagram | @big_z_2020

Wrestler Born Without Legs Overcomes Rough Childhood To Win Guinness Record

When we tune in to the Olympics or see advertisements centered around athletic wear, we're often fed the message that nothing is impossible and that if we put enough work in, we can accomplish anything.

And while it's easy to think that these are just slogans they cook up to sell merchandise, we must also recognize that there are athletes out there who really are accomplishing what many would have once written off as impossible.

Not only do their stories show how powerful determination and creative thinking can be when you're born with a clear obstacle in your path, but they also show how important their supporters and believers are to their successes.

And we can see all of that in the story of one incredible individual who already has accomplishments that people spend their whole lives dreaming about under his belt.

Until the age of 16, it was hard for Zion Clark to feel like anything but an outcast.

According to Insider, he was placed into foster care after being born with caudal regression syndrome, which left him without legs.

Unfortunately, his experiences in the foster system only made life more difficult for him as he was transferred to nine different homes in Ohio and New York and reported being underfed, bullied, and punched in his sleep by other foster kids.

As he said, "I had to deal with trying to survive on my own and just make it through life because a lot of these families were just there for a check."

But that would change when he met Kimberlli Clark Hawkins, who adopted him by the time he turned 17.

In Clark's words, "They made it seem like I was the absolute worst kid on the planet, but my mom didn't believe them."

And once he found a family that truly cared for him, he had the foundation he needed to push forward in school and to achieve his athletic ambitions.

Over the years, he would incorporate high-intensity exercises like like medicine ball slams, banded dumbbell presses, pull-ups, and dips into his workouts, which he engages in throughout most days in a given week.

And not only would Clark achieve academic success, but he would show what he was capable of on the track.

He also told Good Morning America that he had enjoyed wrestling since the age of six as that provided him with one of the only communities that didn't treat him like the odd man out. So naturally, his passion for the sport would only grow as his life improved.

Eventually, Clark would use the power in his arms and his core to become one of his state's best wrestlers.

He is now training to qualify for the Olympics in wrestling and for the Paralympics in track and field.

But regardless of how those journeys unfold for him, Clark has already proven how fast and agile he is on his hands as he's earned a Guinness World Record for clearing 20 meters (65.6 feet) in 4.8 seconds by walking on them.

As he told the organization behind the world records committee at the time, "Before I knew it, I had crossed the finish line! A rush of euphoria surged through my body as the official timer called out 4.78 seconds!"

h/t: Insider, Good Morning America