Health | Uplifting | Sports

Meet Kyle Maynard, The Man With No Limbs Who Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro

Everyday, we do a lot of little things that we take for granted. We type on our laptops, scroll on our phones, brush our teeth and put on our socks. Kyle Maynard realizes how important each of these small actions are, because he does them without any arms or legs.

Maynard was born with congenital amputation, a rare condition that normally affects one or two limbs. Maynard was born without all four or his limbs, but he hasn't let that hold him back at all.

Since he was young, his father taught him to look after himself, and not depend on others. His grandma taught him an even more important lesson: to never let people look down at him, or ignore him.

He's obviously learned a lot from both of them, because today he's inspiring people all over the world with his "no excuses" attitude, and accomplishing things you or I would think are impossible.


From the time he was just 11 years old, Maynard has been competing in sports with able bodied kids his age and proving that his disability can't hold him back.

Maynard started off playing football. He couldn't keep up with other kids, or even really tackle them, but he would crawl up the middle of the field and force the other team to trip over him.

In high school, Maynard joined the wrestling team. While he was competing with athletes his size, his missing limbs were a serious disadvantage, and he lost his first 35 matches. But Maynard and his coach Cliff Ramos never gave up. They invented their own techniques to give Maynard an edge on the competition, and in his senior year he managed to win 35 matches.


Coach Ramos told ABC that whenever his team isn't giving their all, he'll stop practice and remind them how hard Maynard worked, and how he never complained - no matter how hard things were. In the end, Maynard lost a few matches, but he was never pinned.

After high school Maynard tried lots of other sports, including weightlifting, where he set a record by bench pressing 240 pounds 23 times. He still practices in MMA, jujitsu and CrossFit, but mainly he focuses on appearances as a motivational speaker.

Maynard wrote his own New York Times bestselling autobiography called No Excuses, and he's made thousands of appearances all over the world to share his inspiring story, including on TV shows like Oprah and Larry King.


In 2012, Maynard accomplished his most impressive feat yet, climbing (or crawling) over 19,000 feet to reach the top of mount Kilimanjaro, becoming the first quadruple amputee to climb the mountain.

He made the trip as part of Project Kilimanjaro, a team of veterans suffering from conditions like brain injuries and PTSD who climbed to the summit together and raised money for a school for blind children in Tanzania.

Maynard isn't a veteran, but he carried the ashes of a fallen soldier on a necklace as he climbed, and scattered them when he reached the top of the mountain.

Maynard won the 2012 ESPY award for Athlete With A Disability for his incredible accomplishment, and since then he hasn't slowed down one bit. He's still climbing mountains, still reaching out to audiences around the world at his speaking engagements, and he even starred in a Nike ad that aired during the Olympics last year.


When Maynard isn't traveling around the world giving motivational talks - which he does around 200 days each year - he's working at his gym in Suwanee, Georgia, where he's a certified CrossFit instructor. No matter what he does, Maynard proves there's no obstacle you can't overcome with hard work and determination.

Share his inspiring story with someone you know!

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