Zion Clark has officially set the Guinness World Record for the fastest 20-meter walk on two hands. The 23-year-old athlete set the record back in February at his high school gym in Massillon, Ohio. Olympic Gold Medalist and Guinness World Records title holder Butch Reynolds, who is Clark’s coach, helped Clark achieve the feat in under five seconds. His end-time was 4.78 seconds.
“Before I knew it, I had crossed the finish line! A rush of euphoria surged through my body as the official timer called out 4.78 seconds!’ Clark said, according to VIBE. “Everybody was excited, I was excited, my girlfriend was excited… it was just a moment man!”
Last week, the athlete and motivational speaker took to Instagram to announce that he is officially a Guinness World Record Holder. “As the fastest human on two hands for 20m. This is a big accomplishment for me. I am one of the main features in the 2021 edition, so make sure you get your copy of it,” Clark captioned a photo he shared holding his certificate and copy of the 2022 Guinness World Records.
“I am getting ready to set my next Guinness World Record what do you guys think it is?”
The University student, who is also a wrestler, was born with a rare medical condition known as caudal regression syndrome, a condition which left him without legs. But the determined young man, popularly known for the term ‘No excuses’- tattoed across his back- not only managed to live without legs but also grew up to be a renowned athlete.
He was born in Columbus, Ohio and at birth, he was put up for adoption, spending time moving from one foster home and school to the other. He experienced bullying and mental abuse growing up but he was able to make friends and perform well in school. While in grade two, he was encouraged by his Arts teacher who was also a wrestling coach to pick up the sports seriously. Zion took the advice of his teacher and started wrestling until high school.
While attending Massillon Washington High School in northeast Ohio, Zion signed up for the school’s wrestling team and qualified to be a member. He lost all his games in his junior year; the determined young man trained harder and made it to the semi-finals in the championships in his senior year. Despite losing his match, Zion gained nationwide recognition and finished high school with a good wrestling record to his name.
In 2015, Zion was adopted by Kimberli Hawkins, a mother of two who had an instant connection with Zion after she met him. Zion was also approached by a Paralympics official who encouraged him to try wheelchair racing. With the same winning spirit, he qualified for the Paralympic Nationals at UCLA in California where he competed using a specially designed wheelchair. Zion went on to become Ohio’s fastest runner and won the 2016 100-meter and 400-meter state titles. He also placed third in the 800-meter race.
As a man setting records on the track and also doing great in wrestling, Zion hopes to become the first American athlete to compete in both the Olympic (wrestling) and Paralympic (wheelchair racing) Games in 2024.
In one of his many interviews, Zion told Times Reporter that “I don’t believe in excuses–there is no excuse to do anything good or bad, I believe we do what we want to do, and instead of making excuses for it, I focus on correcting the bad decisions and building upon the good ones.”
He went on to say that he does not like being pitied for his condition, explaining that “I just want them to quit feeling that pity for me, I can’t stand that. I don’t know why, but it just makes something start churning in the back of my head. I would think that they would know that I’m obviously moving around probably more than the people around me. I don’t know why they’re like, ‘Oh, I feel sorry for you.’ Don’t.”