Ellen Meets an Inspiring College Wrestler and His Mom


[AUDIENCE CLAPPING] Our next guest is
going to blow you away. He was born without legs,
due to a rare condition that affects his spine. But that has not stopped
him from becoming a college wrestler
and an inspiration to everyone who meets him. From Massillon, Ohio, please
welcome Zion Clark and his mom Kimberly. [MUSIC – KANYE WEST, “STRONGER”] N-n-now that, that don’t kill
me, can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now,
cause I can’t wait much longer. I know I got to be
right now, cause I can’t get much stronger. Man, I’ve been
waiting all night now, that’s how long I been on ya. [MUSIC FADING] Hi. Well, oh boy, oh boy. You’re something else. And, man, you’re strong. Thank you. I just hugged you and
you’re like, solid– solid. OK, so what was this condition
that you– what do you call the condition that
you were born with? It is called caudal
regression syndrome. It is a very rare condition. Only one kid out of 100,000
each year are born with it. And it is very rare. There’s different stages to it. Some kids are born with like
a big portion of their spine missing– or a small portion. Some are born with legs,
this portion missing or not. I was just born without legs. A lot of people
say it’s different, but it’s really just
the only thing I know. Right, of course. That’s all you know. And probably because of
this, you had a tough time before you were even born? Yeah, so my mother– she’s
really not the greatest. But it’s nothing to be helped. She was diabetic and also was
doing heavy drugs while she was pregnant with me– in and out of jail. She actually got pregnant
with me while she was in jail. She had me and was deemed
unfit to take care of me. So I went to my first
couple of homes. And like, the first couple
of homes, they weren’t bad– just a couple of
bad things happened, so I had to be removed. But then there was other homes
where it would get to the point where I’d be like–
sometimes being starved– just a lot of bad things. But I swear– by God’s
grace, my mom got ahold of me and the rest is history. Yeah. Yeah– [AUDIENCE APPLAUDING] So how did Zion come
into your life, Kimberly? OK, I’m a foster mom. So they called me one day– they
reached out and said, we have– I kept all girls. So they reached
out and asked me– we have a young fellow who– he exhausted all his resources. They’re about to ship
him off to Cincinnati. So would I consider
my criteria to change to have him be a fit to
come stay in my home. And he went to school with my
daughter and foster child– my regular daughter. So we’re at the
Christmas cantata– I saw him before he even saw me. He was going across
the stage on his hands, and I was sitting
up in the audience. I was like, oh, that’s him– that’s my son. I just knew he was
meant to be mine. You know, and so when I called– [AUDIENCE APPLAUDING] I give God all glory– the son that I always wanted. And I didn’t have to go
through the diaper stages. I got the fun stuff. So we reached out and we
told them, let’s do this. And they brought them
to my house and– And he’s your– The rest is history. You know? OK. And man, to have such
a loving mother– to have this turn out–
because I think you– you are speaking
to a lot of kids out there that are in the
foster system, or wherever– and getting bounced around. And to say you were
beaten and starved and everything that
happened to you– you came through it. And now you have a
loving family and you’re successful and happy. And I think that’s
the message we want to say to kids out there
that are in a bad situation– cause you can get through that. And how did you start wrestling? I was about seven,
eight years old. My art teacher, he was
actually the wrestling coach at the time– came up to me and he’s
like, hey you look like you could be a wrestler. I didn’t know what it was. So I took the flyer home,
back to my foster parents. They took me to the practice– I didn’t know what I was doing. I had no clue what I
was doing, actually. And then I worked really
hard over the summer between junior and senior year– ended up going the
first 18 matches of my season, undefeated. And ended my season
33 wins and 15 losses. [AUDIENCE APPLAUDING] Whoo! You must be so proud– I am. –to watch him compete. I mean, I’m sure people see him
walk in there and they’re like, well I’m going to for sure win. And then you see him
just get these guys. Like it’s– Yes. Well, I’m sitting
in the audiences at his wrestling matches. You know, I’m
always ear hustling. Cause people– you know they
never saw someone without legs wrestle before. So he’ll come out and
they’re sitting there like, what– that guy doesn’t
have any legs, what is he getting ready to do. And I’m thinking to myself,
you guys don’t know Zion, but you’re getting
ready to learn today. You know? Yeah. It’s amazing. And you’re going and you’re
visiting other schools– and so you’re talking
and inspiring other kids? Yeah, so I’ll go
around talking to kids. I really try to go
for the schools that approach me about
kids that are going through a lot of problems. And I’ll talk to these kids. And a lot of these kids,
like, they’re really young. So the first thing
is like– whoa, you don’t have legs, oh my gosh. And obviously they’ll
have little questions. But what my question is to
them, I’ll ask them like, are you going
through a hard time? Like, I get right
straight to the point. And sometimes it breaks my
heart when a majority of them all raise their hand. And what I really try
to tell them, I mean, it’s going to be hard–
life’s going to be hard. You got to keep working for it. And in the end, hard work is
going to outwork anything. Yeah. [AUDIENCE APPLAUDING] All right, Zion and Kimberly–
we’re going to take a break. More with them
when we come back. We’re back, with the incredible
Zion and his mother Kimberly. So it is possible
that you’re going to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo? Yes ma’am. [AUDIENCE APPLAUDING] So currently in
the United States– for Paralympic Track and Field
I am one of the top two 100 meter sprinters in the country. I like it, it’s fast. And on top of that, I’m
in college wrestling. I’m a national qualifier–
really cool stuff. And I’m working with a bunch
of Olympians– like great guys. And what this– and this
is going to sound crazy. But if I can go to the
Paralympics and the regular Olympics– like, I wrestle
able-bodied men– like, probably men that are way
bigger than me– cause, I’m a really small guy– able-bodied men, beat them– I could make history. I can be the first
two-sport athlete– Paralympic, Olympic–
put them into one and just do something
amazing with it. Well, you’re going to do it. [AUDIENCE APPLAUDING] You’re going to do it. I’m proud of you. You just think it– Yes ma’am. –and you see it and
you’re going to do it. All right, since you’re
a college athlete, I can’t give you a gift. That’s a stupid rule, but
I can’t give you anything. But you have a
dream for your mom. What is your dream? So I’m in the process– I’m really trying to make
a lot of money, right? I mean, who doesn’t? And my mom she does way,
way too much for me. Like, I’m so grateful. If it wasn’t for her, I could
really just be in a bad place right now. And I’m just so grateful. Like, I don’t know what
I’d do without her. And my biggest dream– I just want to get
her a new house, get her a new car–
just set her up for life and just give back
what she gave to me. Well, that’s a good dream. I don’t have a house,
but I do have a car. And that car over
there is yours. [INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC PLAYING] [AUDIENCE APPLAUDING] Oh my God! Come on over. Oh my God! All right, you are
going to love this car. My friends at Chevy have
award-winning, quality cars, trucks, and SUVs. This 2019 Chevy Traverse
is ready for anything. It has technology to help you
keep on track and all the space you need. It’s yours. [AUDIENCE APPLAUDING] Oh my God! We’ll be right back. Thank you! Hi, I’m Andy. Ellen asked me to remind you
to subscribe to her channel so you can see more
awesome videos. Like, videos of me
getting scared or saying embarrassing things– like ball-pein hammer–
and also some videos of Ellen and other
celebrities– if you’re into that sort of thing. Ah! [BLEEP] God-[BLEEP].

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