Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

 

Man with no arms or legs plays football, swims and surfs

Man with no arms or legs can play football, swim and surf

Nick Vujicic was born with no arms or legs, but has learnt to play football, swim and even surf.

 

Murray Wardrop

Daily Telegraph
Published: 7:00AM BST 02 Jul 2009

Nick Vujicic: Man with no arms or legs can play football, swim and surf
Mr Vujicic also enjoys the occasional round of golf, having mastered striking the ball using a club nestled under his chin. Photo: BARCROFT

The 26-year old is mainly torso but has a small foot on his left hip which helps him balance and enables him to kick.

Mr Vujicic uses his single foot to type, write with a pen and pick things up between his toes.

He claims that his lack of limbs is something of a benefit in the water because it means he has more flotation and can use his foot as a "propeller".

And during a trip to Hawaii in 2008, he learnt to surf with help from professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, who had her arm bitten off by a shark when she was 12.

His ability to pull off 360 degree spins on his board got him on the front cover of Surfer magazine.

Mr Vujicic also enjoys the occasional round of golf, having mastered striking the ball using a club nestled under his chin.

His disability came at birth without any medical explanation – a rare condition called Phocomelia.

However, he has learnt to use his foot and a wheelchair to overcome every hurdle life has thrown at him.

"I call it my chicken drumstick," joked Nick, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, but now lives in Los Angeles, USA.

"I'd be lost without it. When I get in the water I float because 80 per cent of my body is lungs and my drumstick acts as a propeller."

From a young age his parents helped him become independent, teaching him to swim at the age of 18 months and creating gadgets to allow him to write and type.

Mr Vujicic added: "My dad put me in the water at 18 months and gave the courage to learn how to swim.

"I also got really into football and skateboarding. I totally love the English Premier League."

His parents also insisted that he attend a mainstream school in Australia, where he was teased and bullied.

"It was the best decision they could have made for me," Mr Vujicic added, who later achieved a degree in Financial Planning and Real Estate.

"It was very hard but it gave me independence."

Mr Vujicic is now a motivational speaker and has travelled to over 24 countries speaking to groups of up to 110,000 people.

In 1990 he won the Australian Young Citizen of the Year award for his bravery and perseverance.

Describing his surf tuition with Miss Hamilton, he said: "She was amazing. I was terrified at first, but once I got up there it felt absolutely fantastic and I caught some waves pretty well."

"I have a very low centre of gravity so I've got pretty good balance."


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