Being an athlete is naturally challenging. Even professional sports player will tell you how much hard work they put in on a daily — or how strenuous their work outs are. Attempting to win something is already a challenge in itself. But imagine having a physical disability and still having the gumption and will to compete, and do it well!
36-year old Kenyan-born track and field athlete Marko Cheseto knows quite a thing or two about playing to win, against all odds. Over the weekend, Cheseto became the fourth runner to cross the finish line at Sunday’s Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World Resort.
Coming in fourth may seem like a fluke to some, but for Marko, who lost both his feet to frostbite in 2009 — finishing is a win in itself.
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It’s not how many times you fall, it’s the number of times you got up that counts. Fell twice today completed Disney Princess half 1:17:45. 5:56 min/mile pace. The records will show my finish time not the falls. What am trying to say is #nevergiveup #rundisney #disneyprincess #disneyprincesshalfmarathon #justdoit #poaproud @carissaanneg @nike @poa_orlando @rebekahmgregory @ossur
After finishing the marathon, the low-key legend dropped some major gems, saying:
“The only disability we have as human being is the way we think. But a physical disability that we have does not prevent one from achieving great things in life.”
You may recall Marko’s traumatic story, which all began in 2011 when his cousin committed suicide. A few months later, Cheseto went out of his home in the middle of a blizzard, dressed only with jeans and a light jacket, and was pronounced missing by his family and friends.
“At around 3 a.m. on November 9, Cheseto was found outside a hotel near campus.According to police reports, during the 56 hours he was missing, he was exposed -brutal winter conditions’. Cheseto was suffering from hypothermia and had severe frostbite on his hands and feet. After a week of recovery, doctors had to amputate both of Cheseto’s feet above the ankles.” – BBC
Since then, Marko has been in recovery mode and still competing in races to help maintain his mojo. In 2019, he set a world record for a marathon by a double amputee.
Moral of the story? Black History is always being made.
Black Icon Living: Meet The Double Amputee Phenom Breaking Major Barriers In Sports was originally published on globalgrind.com