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THIS DETERMINED 22-year-old is continuing to make his mark in the world – despite living with no legs. Zion Clark was born with caudal regression syndrome, a rare disorder that impairs the development of the lower spine. In Zion’s case, he was born missing both of his legs. Residing in Ohio, Zion says that one in every 100,000 children are born with the congenital condition each year – and due to his unfortunate circumstances, 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 and has continued to find 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.
Follow Zion here: https://www.instagram.com/big_z_2020/
Videographer: Istvan Lettan
Producers: Gareth Shoulder, Danny Baggott, Kim Nguyen Editor: Cecilia Brunelli
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Being born without legs. Hadn’t stopped me from doing the things that I want to do. Well, people would just they’d make fun of me cause I didn’t have legs. The best way deal with haters is to use the heat. To lift yourself up. Haters are your biggest fans. So use that to your advantage.
My name is Zion Clark. I was one of the rare condition that caused me not to have legs. I was born with caudal regression syndrome. It is a very rare disease. One out of every hundred thousand kids are born with it. Each year. [inaudible] syndrome is a rare diseases that can cause a number of abnormalities and a baby. Like it can be you have a push in your spine missing or in my case, I was born without legs. I lived most of my life through foster care till about 16.
He came into my life when the case workers had reached out to me and said that they needed a placement for a young fellow. They bring Zion to my home. Some weeks later, then it came to a point to where I just knew he was mine. And I just was so in love with some men, I approached him one day on the couch. I said, Zion, I know that I’m not your biological mother. And I asked him if I could get to be his mom. He said, uh, yes, I want you to be my mom. I was like, well, let’s do this. Let’s do it.
The relationship with my mom is fantastic. She is the greatest woman I know, you know? And she wants that. She wants what’s best for me. She wants his best for me and my sisters. She never wants was going to give up on me. I mean, I was, I was always a, I was a trouble kid during school. So I mean anything, any little thing would make me mad. I just got in trouble for punching lockers or just back talking to teachers, you know? Well, people would just they’d make fun of me cause I didn’t have bugs. Like they think I couldn’t do something or they’d be talking to me saying I wouldn’t do something and turn I do it and get in trouble. But then after awhile I just got tired of it. So I stopped reacting and I just let them talk. Then eventually they started leaving me alone 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 the college and start doing everything I wanted to do. I started wrestling in second grade. I could just go wrestle for a couple hours, waste all my energy and go home and just go to sleep. When I was really little, the first few matches, I didn’t know what to do. And neither did my opponent kids. Some kids are scared to wrestle me. I was scared the rest of them. I didn’t know what I was doing. I adapted, I adapted my wrestling, my a lot of trial and error. I spent years figuring out what would work, what didn’t work. And there’s a lot of things that don’t work. But the things that do work drilling and over
And over again, until they’re completely flawless until somebody might know I’m doing it, but I’m going to do it anyway. As far as they want me to,
I am feeling great about a match. I train about twice a day, every single day, six days a week. And it’s an everyday thing. It’s a grind. It’s a lifestyle. Zion was a very special athlete because he had perseverance and his determination was second to none. It was very easy for me to coach him with qualities like that. Very good. Take down.
Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s get the breakdown. He has no legs. So he doesn’t have any power for the bottom half of his body, which puts him at a great disadvantage for wrestling. I noticed that, uh, because of his willingness to do the things that he needs to do to win that, I knew that we could come up with something to make him successful.
Proud of my Zion. Give you the Z, you got your B, you got your, I am proud. I’m his number one cheerleader. I told you I am the executive director of his fan club. I, I am very proud of him. How at first he was just so angry. But how he learned is each time to wrap that anger and to make it into something positive,
Being born without legs, hadn’t stopped me from doing the things that I want to do. The best way to deal with haters is to use the heat, to lift yourself up. Your haters are your biggest fans. So use that to your advantage, my dreams and ambitions on there to make the Olympic team be one of the best freestyle wrestlers in the world. I want to be able to and go back home, tell him I’m like mom, number one, there’s nobody better. I’m going to try to keep getting better from there. I just want to be the best. The biggest lesson I’ve had to learn is that things will not always go your way, but you have to work with what you got. And once you, once you able to work with what you have multiple doors to start over.