Watch Physically Impaired People do Amazing Things!
Color me impressed - people are truly capable of anything if they put their mind to it - case in point, 23 year old New Dehli resident, Vinod Thakur, whose ability to bust b-boy moves despite being born without a full pair of legs is showcased in a recent video that has surfaced onto the Youtube charts - instantly catching my attention.
Vinod Thakur shot to fame after performing his breakdance routine on India's Got Talent 2 years ago in 2010; the self taught performer learnt his repertoire of spins, flips and belly flops entirely from watching videos of other breakdancers on the internet.
‘When I saw foreigners doing it on the internet, I asked myself, why can’t I?’ he said.
Considerably intrigued by Vinod's remarkable efforts to live a fun and fulfilling life despite his disabilities made me wonder - what other sports are people with lower body disabilities capable of doing? I'm pretty sure many of you know about wheelchair basketball, but I've found a variety of activities that really demonstrated the versatility of these strong characters and how they're able to overcome physical limitations to do what normal people do and even more.
1) Rock Climbing
Paraplegic musician and actor, Joseph Visaggi, is seen scaling the rock wall with just 2 of his hands and minimum assistance. I've done a little rock climbing myself - it's a physically taxing sport - one that I would not expect an individual with 2 less limbs to spare to even attempt trying, but it's clear that for whatever Joseph lacks in physical abilities, he makes up for in iron will and unwavering determination - hmm... perhaps a disability is a state of mind more so than it is a non functioning body part.
2) 360° BackFlip on Skis
If you fall down, you get back up again - but sometimes that fall can debilitate you - as was the case for Canadian alpine skier, Josh Dueck. In 2004, a botched flip on skis broke Josh's back and left him as a T11 paraplegic which meant that he was paralyzed from his lower body down to his legs.
Ever since his incident 8 years ago, the 31 year old Winter Paralympics silver medalist has been yearning to do a flip on snow again - I'd assume that his desire to do so was due in part to the fact that he wanted to prove to himself he wasn't any less of a sportsman even after his paralysis.
The video above chronicles his successful attempt at a back flip on snow in a Sit Ski on the 3rd of February 2012. Bravo!
Bet you didn't see that coming huh? O you did... hmm, well could you at least act a little surprise?
Ekso Bionics (formerly known as Berkeley Bionics) is a company that makes bio-mechanical suits that enhances the motor activities of people - their main group of users being soldiers and wheelchair users.
In the TED presentation above, the CEO of Ekso Bionics, Eythor Bender, demonstrates 2 exoskeletons - one that allows a soldier to carry 90 kilograms of weight without tiring and another that enabled a paraplegic lady (name Amanda Boxtel) to stand and walk around with crutches. After 19 years of being bounded to a wheel chair, Amanda was expectedly enthusiastic to show the audiences how she's able to move around with her pair of 'eLEGS'.
I guess the takeaway for this particular story would be that the greatest impact a physical impairment could have on an individual is not so much on the affected body part, but his/her psyche and mental well-being instead.
It's evident throughout the article that all these remarkable people at the time of their accident (or otherwise) have had something taken away from them, but if you looked a little deeper, past their disabilities, you'd come to learn that they're actually much more of a man or woman than many of us with fully functioning appendages could ever hope to be - this level of grit and perseverance is commonly instilled in situations of adversities that are intimate and persistent in nature.
Have you seen other similarly inspiring videos? Share them with everyone in the comment boxes below!
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By Herman Soh