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Zion Clark was born without legs, but that did not prevent him from becoming a successful athlete. Zion Clark, a wrestler, is an inspiration. He was born without legs and was given up for adoption by his parents. He suffered neglect and abuse, but found a new life when he dedicated himself to sports.
Zion was born without both legs on September 29, 1997, in Columbus, Ohio, in the United States. As if the physical limitations imposed by caudal regression syndrome, a congenital malformation that prevented the body from developing from the waist down during gestation, were not enough, he was abandoned by his biological parents. According to his own estimates, he lived in seven or eight orphanages at the time. As he recalls, he was starved and spanked numerous times while there. “I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t a good kid.” “After everything I went through, I had a very bad attitude toward many things,” the athlete reflected on his own childhood.
Wrestler Klye Maynard, who overcame congenital arm amputation to become the first man to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, was a role model who helped Zion shape his own history.
As a wrestler, he was unable to win any tournaments throughout his childhood. But they began to appear as he grew older. With a weight of 40 kg, he was classified as a featherweight, competing against fighters weighing 50 kg. He graduated as one of the top eight wrestling student-athletes in the country, with 15 victories in 33 fights in Massillon.
The coach was also a motivator for his child. “He pushed me past the point of exhaustion.” And when I was having mental breakdowns, he just talked me up and really got me going,” the athlete explained. Persistence, trial and error, and hard work are the keys to his success.
He was defeated in his final year before graduation by an opponent who finished fourth in the Ohio state rankings. Zion’s opponent in this bout leapt over him and banged his head.
“My nose was bleeding, and I had a cut on my eye.” To keep going, I had to be taped up. ‘I can’t do this,’ I told my coach. ‘You made it this far, you have to keep doing your job,’ Coach Donahue stated. ‘Don’t make any excuses for me,’ he said, Zion recalled.
Wheelchair racing is another event in which the wrestler has excelled. Clark achieves remarkable speeds in the tracks, about 32 kilometers per hour, using a sophisticated three-wheel equipment controlled solely by the arms and upper torso.
The chair is really tough to maneuver. My coach talked to me and put my head back in place when I tried to quit.” And once again, he conquered his challenges, becoming Ohio’s fastest special athlete. He won the 100-meter dash and 400-meter dash in 2016, and finished third in the 800-meter dash.
However, Zion’s greatest accomplishment to yet has been in the sport of wrestling. Hundreds of fans cheered him on as he finished his career as a collegiate wrestler in the Massillon gymnasium. After an honorable defeat, Donahue pulled him up, and the moment was captured like a movie scene for posterity. Netflix subscribers can watch the film, which is an 11-minute documentary short.