This photographic essay for readers 8 and over illustrates the amazing path taken by Zion Clark, born in 1997 without legs. Zion has refused to see his body as less than whole. As he states: “I’ve never seen myself as disabled. I’m just lower to the ground.”
He has won awards in wrestling and seated racing, and plays a number of musical instruments. His current goal is to compete in the Paralympics and bring home a medal. On his website, we learn that, because of his tremendous upper body strength and athleticism, Zion is also pursuing interests in power lifting (bench press), wheelchair bodybuilding, and the circus arts.
Zion contends that he was given his life for a reason: “I want to be a role model for any young person on how to overcome adversity, and I want to inspire anyone wants to believe in the human spirit.” Part of the way he is accomplishing that goal is as a motivational speaker. He has a tattoo across his back: No Excuses.
There is no doubt his story is inspirational. He urges people to “work with what you got!” and argues, “If I can do it, so can you.”
One thing he has for sure is a fantastic attitude.
A movie about Zion on Netflix is the winner of two Sports Emmy’s and nominated for Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. You can watch the trailer and see many pictures of him in action here.
Published by Candlewick Press, 2021