A US athlete who is differently-abled has broken world records to become the fastest 20-metre walker by using his hands. The athlete Zion Clark, 23, established a new Guinness World Record (GWR) in 4.78 seconds by walking 20 metres.
The athlete was already an inspiration to many before this, being a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur also an actor. Now, he’s added another new accolade to the list “a record breaker”, with this incredible feat a testament to his determination and motivation he has entered the hall of attention.
Clark, who was born without legs, suffers from caudal regression syndrome, a rare medical condition characterised by the abnormal development of the lower half of the body where the bones of the spine are often missing, according to the US National Library of Medicine.
During his high school days, he was a wrestler, his disability never held him back.
Now, coming back to the same high school gym in Massillon, Ohio, he accomplished the spectacular feat as he “exploded in a burst of speed, smashing the record in a time of 4.78 seconds,” as said by GWR’s official website. While he aimed to break the record in February 2021, however this week he was officially recognised by the global organisation.
US athlete’s views
“What a great feeling to be a Guinness World Record Holder! Especially considering every school K-12 keeps a copy of this book,” Clark wrote while sharing a video on Instagram in which he talks about the organisation’s special record book. “My goal in life is to inspire kids to be whatever they want to be in life, don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do!” he added.
“The message I would give to kids with disabilities or anyone with a disability would be – It’s going to be hard, but if you’ve got the heart and the determination, you can go get what’s yours. If you’re disabled or you’re not disabled, the message stays the same,” Clark told GWR.
After his birth, Clark was put up for adoption, grew up in the foster care system and shifted through a lot of homes. It was not until he fairly aged out of the system that he was adopted by a loving mother, Kimberli Hawkins.
Bullied and abused as a child
He was bullied and abused as a child, though growing up was not easy for Clark. But he continuously pushed himself beyond his boundaries with a simple motto: “no excuses”.
He thanks his mother, friends and track coach, Olympic Gold Medalist and Guinness World Records holder Butch Reynolds for consistent support, Clark said he could do what was prior unthinkable.