Wrestler overcomes disability

Kyle Reynolds and Kyle Reynolds

Being born without elbows or knees didn’t deter Kyle Maynard’s dreams of becoming a great wrestler.

Last night, Maynard gave a presentation at Olscamp on how he’s been able to live with only stubs for arms and legs and been able to accomplish all he has.

Among his accomplishments are qualifying for the Georgia High School Wrestling Championships, wrestling for the University of Georgia and holding two world records in power lifting.

His family raised him just like the rest of his siblings; they didn’t treat him any differently. They didn’t focus on his disability, but rather on his abilities.

He named his book ‘No Excuses’ because he does not let anything stop him in his pursuit of his goals.

As a young kid, Maynard went to school with prosthetic arms and legs so he could look like everyone else, but the prosthetics limited him. He can type and drive a car, which he couldn’t do with prosthetics.

‘My big dream was to be a normal kid so I had to learn to adapt,’ Maynard said.

By ditching the prosthetics, Maynard learned how to do things his peers could do.

One way Maynard learned to win was by losing. Maynard lost his first 35 wrestling matches.

‘My dad videotaped every match and every mistake I made and had me drill it on him,’ Maynard said.

Maynard’s practice and willpower paid off leading him all the way to the Georgia High School Wrestling Championships.

Even with all his accomplishments, Maynard said he has not reached his full potential.

‘Lots of people have doubted me but I’m not even at the highest peak I can reach,’ Maynard said.

Maynard is now trying for Ultimate Fighting Championship and wants to get a medal in Taijutsu if it gets him a spot in the Olympics.

Amber Ricker, president of Figure who co-sponsored the event, feels Maynard helped dispel myths about people with disabilities.

‘Kyle does not have legs so technically he does not have the ability to walk but through his chair and what mobility he does have, he can walk,’ Ricker said. ‘Stop focusing on the disability and focus on the person is something I consistently tell my family.’

While in California, Maynard’s friend wanted to climb the Sierra Mountains, but Maynard didn’t want to. Maynard decided to face his fears and take on the challenge by climbing up to its peak.

‘I realized I was contradicting everything I was talking about by making excuses not to climb,’ Maynard said.

Maynard’s willpower and relentlessness to not give up has gotten him where he is now.

‘If I gave up every time someone told me I couldn’t do something, I don’t know where I’d be,’ Maynard said.

Maynard’s message has inspired countless people. He said he received letters from soldiers wounded in Iraq who saw him on television. A couple of men stayed in bed for days but when they heard about what Maynard could do with the resources he had they became active again.

Kristen Pollack, junior, was one who found Maynard’s message inspirational.

‘I think what he says is true,’ Pollack said. ‘With lots of determination and hard work you can accomplish great things.’