Man born without legs becomes a wrestler
Zion Clark was born with caudal regression syndrome, a rare disorder that impairs the development of the lower spine.
In Zion’s case, it meant his legs did not develop.
The 22-year-old from Ohio says that one in every 100,000 children are born with the congenital condition each year.
Unfortunately, Zion ended up in foster care for the first 16 years of his life.
Fostered by his now-mother Kimberlli, Zion now has a fantastic support system.
The love and care he gets at home has led to Zion finding his strength and passion in the form of wrestling.
The talented and keen sportsman is bidding to become one of the best freestyle wrestlers in the world.
Zion said: ‘I started wrestling in second grade.
‘When I was really little, the first few matches, I didn’t know what to do and neither did my opponent.
‘Some kids were scared to wrestle me – I was scared to wrestle them. I didn’t know what I was doing.
‘I adapted my wrestling by a lot of trial and error. I spent years figuring out what would work.
‘I now train twice a day, about six days a week. It’s a grind, it’s a lifestyle. Being born without legs hasn’t stopped me from doing the things I want to do.’
Zion’s earlier years in school were tough as he endured bullying for his condition and would often respond with anger.
‘People would make fun of me because I didn’t have legs,’ he said.
‘The best way to deal with haters is to use the hate to lift yourself up.
‘The haters are your biggest fans – use that to your advantage.
‘School wasn’t the greatest time for me, but by the time I was a senior I was able to turn it around and get into college and do everything I wanted to do.’
Zion feels that a big reason why he was able to turn his life around was down to his positive outlook and the relationship he has with his mother, Kimberlli.
Zion added: ‘The relationship with my mum is fantastic. She’s the greatest woman I know.’
For Zion, his future now holds endless possibilities and he will never stop aiming high.
He said: ‘My dreams and ambitions? One day, to make the Olympic team and be one of the best freestyle wrestlers in the world.
‘The biggest lesson I’ve had to learn is that things won’t always go your way. You have to work with what you’ve got.
‘Once you’re able to work with what you have, multiple doors just start to open.’
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