Record-Breaker Zion Clark Was Born With No Legs and Was Ready to Become Homeless at 17, but His Adoptive Mother Helped Him Believe in Himself
Athlete Zion Clark, 25, has “no excuses” tattooed on his back. He also likes to wear a T-shirt that says “limitless.” These phrases have become his life’s motto. “Infinite possibilities come to those who believe. The biggest limitation is not in the body but in the mind,” says the professional wrestler, who was born without legs.
Zion now has a million followers on his Instagram page and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. But he’s had to endure a lot on his way to these achievements.
Little Zion was abandoned by his birth mother.
Clark revealed that his biological mother couldn’t accept the fact that her son was born with caudal regression syndrome. It’s a rare condition that occurs in about one in 60,000 births. In severe cases, babies born with this condition are missing the pelvis and parts of the middle or lower spine.
According to Zion, his body didn’t develop properly because his mother couldn’t give up her bad habits during pregnancy. Eventually, when she saw the baby once he was born, she decided to give him up, so the boy was put up for adoption.
The first 17 years of his life were difficult.
During this time, the boy went through nine different foster families and faced some tough relationships with his new parents. Clark, however, notes that his difficult childhood has taught him resilience.
“I had to fight to survive, to see my next meal, to make it to where I am today. But I also know I can’t always put up a shell because we have to express ourselves. I still struggle with things to this day, I get anxiety and have PTSD, but I own and don’t let that control the life and legacy I legacy behind,” shares the athlete.
As he got a little older, his life changed for the better.
When Zion was 17, he was lucky enough to meet Kimberli Hawkins. She already had two children but decided to adopt the boy anyway. She wasn’t even deterred by the reputation he had earned over the years as a “troubled child.”
The Hawkinses became a real family for the young athlete and supported him on his way to achieving his goal. While still in school, the boy became interested in wrestling, but for a long time, he couldn’t win a single competition. Here, again, he got lucky — he met a coach who believed in him and helped him achieve his first real results.
Zion’s name became known in the world of sports.
As well as wrestling, Clark started wheelchair racing. “The feeling I get going down the track at 20 mph is like no other. It’s a feeling of freedom as I strike my chair. Knowing my success on the track all comes down to me,” he told his followers.
Moreover, the athlete’s name has also appeared several times in the Guinness Book of World Records. In October 2022, Zion shared a post: “I set 2 more records, now I currently hold 3 titles! World’s fastest 20m sprint, most Diamond push-ups in 3 minutes (248) and World’s Highest Box jump off your hands 33 inches. I thank God first. Then my family and support system that made this happen.”
Clark now leads a full life.
He doesn’t spend all his time training. One of his hobbies is music. In high school, Zion tried playing wind instruments, and when he got older, he mastered the guitar and drums. Now Clark has a video on his Instagram page of him playing the drums.
In addition, the athlete adores dogs. He once confessed to his followers: “I need my own, though I just vibe on their level way too easy!” In the end, Zion got his own dog and named him Dats.
The athlete helps children believe in themselves.
In 2018, Zion became a motivational speaker and has never regretted this decision. He has always been ready to support children with disabilities and show them, by his own example, that they should never give up.
The athlete has published a book called Zion Unmatched, in which he states that everyone can achieve their dreams through discipline, dedication, and hard work. “I grew up with the hardships and abuse I suffered, but I can change life for our future generations,” says Clark.
Zion has also spoken in front of adult audiences. He was one of the speakers at the F45 World Conference in Las Vegas, where he talked about himself and shared suggestions on how to make a difference in foster care.
He became a blogger with over a million followers and is the hero of his own movie.
2018 saw the release of the documentary Zion, a film about the athlete’s life. It was first screened at the Sundance Film Festival and then released on Netflix. The film won two Emmys at the 40th annual Sports Emmy Awards.
To find out more day-to-day facts about Clark’s life, you can follow his Instagram page and YouTube channel. There, the blogger shares how he prepares for competitions and constantly finds new ways to challenge himself, like taking ice baths or conquering his fears by hanging out with a huge snake.
Zion adores his family and never gets tired of thanking his mom.
The athlete, who was deprived of a happy childhood, appreciates every day spent with his new family, where he was immediately accepted as their own and surrounded by care and attention.
Zion never tires of saying how much he loves Kimberli. “I wouldn’t be successful if it wasn’t for the final chance at life my mom gave me when I was going to be homeless. Her and my sisters mean the world to me,” he admits.