"Be Greater Than..." >
"AN INSPIRATION TO EVERYONE WHO MEETS HIM..." — ELLEN DEGENERES
Zion Clark is an All-American wrestler, an MMA fighter, a Guinness World Record holder, the subject of an EMMY Award winning Netflix documentary, an author, and an internationally acclaimed speaker who infuses humor, wit, powerful life lessons, and infectious energy into each and every presentation that he gives—allowing him to connect with audiences on a level that is undeniably unparalleled.
Standing at just over three feet tall and weighing 110 pounds, he competes against "able-bodied" athletes and has his eyes set on competing in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.
He has been featured in Forbes, Men’s Health, the Wall Street Journal, on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, ESPN, The Ellen Show, and commercials for Apple that aired during the 2020 Super Bowl, among numerous additional media outlets.
He is also a featured contestant in the Summer 2023 season of America’s Got Talent.
Most importantly, he is singularly—and uniquely—ZION.
Zion Clark was born on September 29th, 1997 in Columbus, OH, with a rare birth defect called Caudal Regression Syndrome that left him without legs.
Given up for adoption at birth with no father in the picture and a mother who was unfit to take care of him, Zion had to fend for himself from the beginning. His childhood was a recipe for disaster, as he bounced between foster homes and was labeled a “problem child,” causing the foster care system to give up on him early.
Zion didn’t let this stop him from learning new skills. He picked up wrestling and music at a young age, which became outlets for self-expression and building confidence while living in abusive living situations.
Through resilience and consistency, Zion continued to pursue his passions—and refine his approach to them—eventually earning All-American accolades as a wrestler while also serving as the lead drummer for his church.
He continues to defy all odds with his optimistic approach to everything that he seeks to accomplish, and the “No Excuses” mentality that he embodies and personifies.
Zion was introduced to the sport of wrestling while in elementary school, but initially didn't fare very well. In fact, he didn't win a match for several years.
Upon entering Massillon High School, Zion met wrestling Coach Gil Donahue-–who recognized his passion for the sport and relentless work ethic. A wonderful friendship and bond was forged.
Over the course of the next three years Zion improved his wrestling technique and hit the weight room like a man possessed. An amazing transformation followed.
In his senior year, Zion finished the season 33-15 and was one match away from qualifying for the D-I Ohio High School State Wrestling Championships.
In an incredible display of heart and determination, Zion wrestled his opponent (who had a 20 pound weight advantage) beyond the grueling six minutes of regulation and two overtimes...only to fall 1-0 in a sudden death round.
The fans in the packed gymnasium rose to their feet and zealously applauded Zion's courageous effort, which was covered extensively in the media.
A few months later, Zion went on to capture his second high school track wheelchair racing title at the state championships.
RISING TO THE TOP
Zion was recruited by several colleges to wrestle and chose to attend Kent State, where he spent the subsequent two years steadily improving his skills and finding success at the varsity level.
With his confidence and national ranking on the rise, Zion decided to embark on his toughest mission to date: Becoming the first American Athlete to compete in both the Olympic (wrestling) and Paralympic (wheelchair racing) Games in Tokyo (2020).
Understanding the magnitude of this difficult challenge, Zion surrounded himself with a dedicated and highly supportive team–including Olympic/World Champion Jordan Burroughs and undefeated (133-0) 4x NCAA titleist Joey Davis.
Due to his tremendous upper body strength and athleticism, Zion also began pursuing interests in power-lifting (bench press), wheelchair bodybuilding, and the circus arts.
Zion's herculean efforts didn’t go unnoticed, as a Hollywood producer documented this transformational journey during his senior year.
The resulting film, "ZION," garnered critical acclaim at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival (2018) and generated global media exposure (“ZION” is currently streaming on Netflix).
In addition to his brutal training/practice regimen, Zion stays busy as an inspirational and motivational speaker—receiving standing ovations from audiences across the globe.
The moral of Zion's inspirational story is that things don't always go smoothly in life...but in order to succeed, we must adapt to our individual circumstances.
Priding himself in faith, passion, hard work, dedication, and perseverance, Zion offers his audience the message that there are no excuses...or shortcuts…in life via his singularly unique lens.
Zion urges others to "Be Greater Than" > the obstacles we face.
YOU, and only YOU, are in control of your destiny!