He’s known as the fastest man on two hands!
A man born without legs is breaking records as the fastest and most powerful man on two hands, Guinness World Records reports.
No matter the challenge, with hard work and dedication, you can always get to where you want to be. Take Kelubia Mabatah, for example, who survived a traumatic brain injury then became a bodybuilder, or Wesley Hamilton, who was paralyzed and received a $1M donation for his nonprofit organization Disabled But Not Really.
This time we're sharing the story of Ohio-native Zion Clark, who's showing us how to still exude Black excellence despite our personal challenges. Clark was born with a rare birth defect called Caudal Regression Syndrome, causing him to be born without legs. Being put up for adoption at a young age and labeled a problem child motivated him to learn new skills, using wrestling and music as his outlet.
When he first started wrestling, he didn't win a match for a while. It wasn't until high school he'd prove to be an exceptional wrestler. He finished his senior year season with a 33-15 record and was one match away from qualifying for the D-I Ohio High School State Wrestling Championships. While in high school, he also won his second wheelchair racing title at the state championships. He even had a Hollywood producer create a film called “Zion.” Later, he took his talents to Kent State where he became an All-American Wrestler. It was there he decided he’d embark on his next journey to become the first American athlete to compete in both the Olympic (wrestling) and Paralympic (wheelchair racing) Games in Tokyo 2020.
"I had a rough life, and I had a lot of trials and tribulations, but it’s helped shape who I am as a person and what my motives are,” Clark stated.
Clark is more than an inspiration; his story is pure motivation! He made his big debut last year when he broke the record for the fastest walker on hands, finishing with a speed of 4.78 seconds for a 20m race.
He recently broke two more world records; with the words “NO EXCUSES” tattooed on him, he inspires us to live our lives the same way. The athlete achieved record titles for the highest box jump. Having to reach a height of 24 inches, he knew he could do better and jumped 30 inches on his first try. He made another attempt to go even higher and jumped a whopping 33 inches!
He proceeded to the push-ups, but not just any push-ups, he had to attempt an advanced version called diamond push-ups. During this exercise, the hands must be used to form the shape of a diamond. On his first attempt, he failed, with 54 push-ups left to go. On his second try, he completed 248 diamond push-ups in under three minutes, bringing home a record title.
Out of the two records, Clark said the push-ups were by far the most difficult. "Doing these push-ups, you cap 100, 150, 200, that is when real pain sets in [and] one of two things is going to happen, you are going to fold and stop, or you are going to say screw it and keep pushing until you achieve that goal.”
The entrepreneur, motivational speaker, actor, and author never runs from a challenge; he attempted two more records for the most parallel bar dips in one minute with a 40 Ib pack and the fastest 5m rope climb carrying a 40 Ib pack. Although he wasn’t able to pull through, he’s more than happy with the accomplishments he’s already made. Telling Guinness World Records, "There’s nobody faster on their hands than me in the world. Now, nobody can do more push-ups than me in under three minutes, and nobody can jump off their hands higher than me.”
Zion's next journey is to prepare to be the first-ever Olympic and Paralympic athlete at the same Olympic Games in Paris 2024. He also has a wrestling match planned for the end of the year.
“Find what makes you happy and keep being yourself, and one day you could be beating my records."
Your perseverance is immaculate. Congratulations, Zion!
Photo: Guinness World Records/ Zion Clark