Born without legs, Zion Clark is nothing short of inspirational. And in 2021, he joined the Guinness World Records book of fame for being the fast man to run a 20-meter stint on his hands.
Clark, 23, was born with caudal regression syndrome, a rare condition characterized by the abnormal development of the lower half of the body where the bones of the spine are often misshapen or missing, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The condition affects between one to two of every 100,000 newborns in the U.S., and can be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
On Feb. 15, 2021, Clark took to his high school gym in Massillon, Ohio, to attempt the beating the record for the fastest 20-meter dash while walking on hands. In what is described as exploding in a “burst of speed,” Clark beat the previous record in his new time of 4.78 seconds, according to a news release published in September.
“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,” said Clark.
Clark’s record is now written in the pages of Guinness World Records 2022, which he says makes him feel like a “member of an elite group.”
His next goal? Competing in the 2024 Olympics.