Kyle Maynard is a unique young man and as his high school wrestling coach puts it, "Kyle is one of the most amazing athletes that has ever lived..." Kyle was born with a condition known as congenital amputation that has left him with arms that end at the elbows and legs that end near his knees. Kyle's story begins as a 12 year old that wanted to wrestle and a coach that gave him an opportunity to try. After losing every single match his first year and most his second, Kyle, with his will and a coach with a heart of gold became a very successful varsity wrestler on one of the best teams in the Southeast. In his 7th and final season of wrestling, Kyle made the varsity line up for the first time and finished the season with 36 wins and 18 losses.
Kyle is the 2004 ESPY Award Winner (Best Athlete with a Disability). He is also the recipient of the 2004 Presidents Award for the Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. A quote from the Hall of Fame website: "This year's winner is Kyle Maynard, a champion wrestler who is physically challenged with loss of limbs. An incredible story of triumph!"
His accomplishments roam far beyond the wrestling mat. With basically two elbows he can type up to fifty words per minute, eat and write without any adaptations, and drives a vehicle that has little modification. Kyle began weight training as a youngster and with leather straps and chains attached to his arms he can now lift nearly 400 lbs. In November 2003, he attained the unofficial title of the Worlds Strongest Teen at the GNC Show-of-Strength by doing 23 repetitions of 230 lbs. Recently he set the World Record in the modified bench press at the Arnold Fitness Classic with the bench of 360 lbs.
Featured on CNN, HBO, Spike TV, WAM, countless local and regional TV shows and print, his story has been an inspiration to countless people across the country and around the world. He continues to inspire with his book, No Excuses (August 2005). Kyle's story continues to spread onto the big screen. The movie of his life is set to star Jim Caviezel as Kyle's coach and Kyle will play himself.
Kyle gives most of the credit from the triumphs he has experienced in life to his faith in God, his parents, Scott and Anita, and his wrestling coach Cliff Ramos. His life has been full of obstacles but none too daunting to stop his tenacious drive for life. He is attending and wrestling at the University of Georgia and plans to open a fitness center and motivate people to stay fit.
After meeting Kyle, we assure that you will find it difficult to complain about life's barriers and insignificant problems. Bernard Goldberg, HBO Real Sports correspondent, sums it up best "Kyle has taken away the right for us to complain..."
"Everybody is going to have a point in their life when they can't see any brightness at the end of the tunnel...but there always is...you just have to keep on fighting."
NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum program from October 14, 2005.
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