How long do you think it would take you to walk 20 meters on your hands? No matter how fast you think you are, you’re likely not close to Zion Clark, who recently took the official Guinness World Record for that fastest 20 meters walking on his hands, in a blistering 4.78 seconds.
As Clark explains in a video produced by Guinness, he’s a wrestler and athlete with a rare genetic disorder called Caudal Regression Syndrome, meaning he was born without legs. Raised by his adoptive mother, he grew up loving wrestling; with the help of a dedicated coach, he went on to nearly qualify for the high school state championship, then signed a wrestling scholarship for college. He also became an accomplished wheelchair racer.
He’s also become a motivational speaker and was featured in a documentary short. In February, he returned to his high school gym, where he’d spent so many days practicing years before. The Guinness crew was there, along with his coach and former record holders, to document his world record attempt.
“Y’all don’t understand” he says he told the crowd, “I’m going to be under five seconds, maybe even under four.” With his first try, which he says was faster, he slid under the sensors. On his second try, sure enough, he broke the five-second mark, becoming the fastest person to walk on their hands for 20 meters.
Clark continues to aim high, training to be the first person to compete in both the Olympics (in wrestling) and Paralympics (in wheelchair racing). His attitude, like the tattoo on his back reads, is “No excuses.”
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