Rushville Republican


August 7, 2012

Meet athlete Kyle Maynard: Part 1

RUSHVILLE — Perhaps you've seen athlete Kyle Maynard on Oprah, Larry King, ESPN or ABC 20/20. Recently, the 26-year-old Georgian garnered his second ESPN "ESPY" award, this one as "Best Male Athlete with a Disability 2012" for scaling Africa's 19,341-foot Mount Kilimanjaro.

What surprises is that Maynard doesn't have arms below the elbows or legs below the knees. He was born with congenital amputation (or amniotic band syndrome) affecting all four limbs. To get around, he crawls on all fours, uses a manual wheelchair or drives his own car.

As you can probably guess, life for him hasn't always been a mountain top experience. "There were definitely tough times," Maynard said in a telephone interview. "My friends, sisters, and parents saw me as normal, but when I had to become part of a new social group (such as after moving to Atlanta in 1996), people would be hesitant around me. They would want to help with everything or sometimes not know what to do. That affected me a lot when I was younger."

He went on: "I started fifth grade in Georgia. Down South everything was about football and all my friends were football players. I really wanted to play that first year with my (new) friends and felt left out."

He ended up playing nose tackle on his sixth grade team. His job was to plug the defensive middle on all fours and try knocking his helmet into the offensive running back's knees to tackle him. Football gave him a sense of purpose and provided camaraderie. In high school, he would lose his first 35 wrestling matches, but would go on to win 36 varsity matches his senior year and in his weight class beat many of Georgia's best wrestlers. He never gave up.

He said, "Much of my wrestling success was due to my reaction time, strength, and stamina. Other wrestlers had a harder time training for me than I had with them because I had a room full of guys to simulate what other wrestlers could do to me. My opponents had their teammates wrestle on hands and knees trying to understand what it was like and it was much harder for them to simulate."

After attending the University of Georgia a year, he became a motivational speaker and began promoting his book. Learn more next column about how Maynard came to terms with his disability.


( and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.)

Text Only
  • Who wins the race for patients--the ER or the Urgent Care Center? Tracy Hume, a freelance writer who lives in Greeley, Co., and a reader of Thinking About Health columns, recently sent along this provocative question. “Do ER-affiliated urgent care providers ever try to escalate patients to the ER when it is not med

    July 29, 2014

  • hea-rv072914-muskrats pic Muskrats Support Brian's Cause What started years ago as the Homer Muskrats has now become the Rush County Muskrats.“This group of men meet quarterly for organized, competitive shoots and then enjoy getting together for a great game of cards – usually euchre,” according to member

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 5th Brian's Cause Event Registration Open Plans are well under way for the 5th annual Brian’s Cause – Together We Can fundraising event for the Rush Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Brian’s Cause Cancer Treatment Relief Fund. The steering committee recently met to review the event progress to

    July 29, 2014

  • August blood drives hosted by Indiana Blood Center Indiana Blood Center is the state’s largest non-profit blood provider, supplying blood components to more than 60 hospitals statewide. In the past month, Indiana Blood Center saw 12,297 volunteer blood donors at both its eight donor centers and 431 b

    July 29, 2014

  • MHS First Year Program guides parents INDIANAPOLIS (July 21, 2014/Coles Marketing Communications) – Managed Health Services’ (MHS) First Year of Life Program is offering parents guidance through all the medical milestones needed to keep their babies healthy and thriving.The First Year of

    July 22, 2014

  • hea-rv071814-magic show Youth Volunteer of the Year made for a Magical Night The Rush Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Seed Circle recently held a Family Fun Night featuring magician Rusty Ammerman. He held the audience captive as he performed magic trick after trick. His comedy, timing, audience participation and incredible ma

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Schoolhouse Partners publishes directory of biomedical and health care grants WEST LAFAYETTE — Officials in the biomedical and health care sectors can use a newly published directory from a Purdue Research Park affiliate to find grant opportunities and funding for research, faculty development, internships, assistantships, sch

    July 22, 2014

  • Tips for choosing a doctor A referral from another physician or family and friends is a first step in choosing a doctor, but specialists advise doing some research to finalize your choice.Some tips:• The insured typically look in-network. Some insurers are starting to score th

    July 22, 2014

  • Smoking Philippine leader OKs cigarette warnings MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, a known smoker, has signed a law requiring tobacco companies to put graphic health warnings on cigarette packs in a country where tens of thousands of people die every year from toba

    July 22, 2014

  • hea-rv071514-mental health pic Broken mental health system taxes Howard County jail Editor's note: People suffering from mental illness commit fewer than 4 percent of all violent crimes. But state cuts in mental health funding have limited opportunities for treatment before some people wind up on the wrong side of the law. Today, th

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo