These 3 Athletes Who Overcame Disabilities Teach Us about Hard Work

Natalie Du Toit 1
Share the Inspiration :)

Do you believe that everything in this world is possible as long as you have a strong desire and willing to do the hard work to achieve it? I do. I’m not saying that the road would be easy. But, there are people in this world that really have a huge hurdle and still go beyond their limit and work harder than we could ever imagine.

If you read the title, than you know that I’m talking about athletes who overcame disabilities.

Up until now, some people may find it hard to believe there are people with physical disabilities who succeed in physical sport. Those people surpassed their limit to chase their passion with a great desire to achieve their dreams. They didn’t see their ‘weakness’ as a reason to give up their dreams. Knowing a little about their journeys give me some boost for motivation.

So, I would like to share some of those wonderful inspiring athletes with you. Here we go :)

1. Natalie Du Toit

Natalie Du Toit 1

“I have always had a dream to take part in an Olympic Games, and losing my leg didn’t change anything.”
– Natalie Du Toit –

Natalie Du Toit was born in 1984 and began swimming since she was a kid. She also participated in Commonwealth Games in 1998. She had a dream to be an athlete but unfortunately, in 2001 she involved in a scooter accident which caused her lost one of her legs. But, instead of giving up her dream to be an athlete, she overcame the adversity and achieved her dream.

Only three months after her operation, she resumed training and swam with other disabled people. As a result of her determination, she won two gold medals in Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008 and beat the world record in a disabled category with great skill. She was also noted 48th in the top 100 Great South African in 2004 by the SABC.

Natalie Du Toit 2

Her hard work was paid off in 2008 when she participated in the Olympic Games held in Beijing. She competes with other able-bodied athletes in the 10k race. Natalie said that it had always been her dream to take part in the Olympic Games and losing her leg didn’t change anything. Natalie participated in her last Paralympic Games in 2012 and currently enjoying being a motivational public speaker who inspires others to reach their dreams.

2. Baxter Humby

Baxter Humby 1

“I can’t is not in my vocabulary.”
– Baxter Humby –

Baxter Humby was born in 1974 and soon after his birth he got to miss one of his arms. A part of his arm below his elbow was amputated because it was entangled with an umbilical cord. Ever since, he got to life his live with limited ability and being told that he couldn’t do much. But at the age of 17, he interested in kickboxing and Muay Thai and has pursued to be one of the best in these field.

Baxter Humby 2

He is widely known as One-Armed Bandit because he does the sport with one hand missing. Even so, he has won multiple titles during his career and held a black belt in Taekwondo and Sik Tai. He has a very inspirational quote which is, “I can’t is not in my vocabulary”.

Movie lovers may know that Humby participated in the movie Spiderman 3. He took Tobey Mcguire’s place in the fight scene with the sandman and gave the effect of punching through sandman chest. He also starred in the film One Arm Here that was produced by a martial art film star. Currently, he also trains with Muay Thai World Champion trainer at the Muay Thai Academy in North Hollywood, CA.

3. Kyle Maynard

Kyle Maynard 1

“Know your limits, but never stop trying to break them.”
– Kylie Maynard –

Kyle Maynard was born in 1986 with a rare condition known as congenital amputation. His parent faced unexpected situation but took a quick decision to drive him to be as independent as possible. Despite his disability, he grew up like most normal kids with a great interest in sports. He likes football and wrestling.

In the high school, he wrestled and won 36 matched during his senior year. Maynard received ESPY Award Winner for Best Male Athlete with disability in 2004 and 2012.

Kyle Maynard 2

In 2005, he wrote a book which titled “No Excuses: The True Story of a Congenital Amputee Who Became a Champion in Wrestling and in Life”. The book became the New York Times Bestselling Autobiography. He is now a motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur, and athlete. He has set records in weightlifting and fought in martial arts despite being born with arms that end near the elbows and leg that end near the knees.

Do You Realize the Similarity with These Athletes Who Overcame Disabilities?

Natalie, Baxter, and Kyle are great examples of athletes who overcame disabilities and reach their dreams despite their imperfection. These people have worked their way and gone beyond their limit to achieve what seem to be almost impossible for many people. Not only they put away their disability, they also overcame emotional struggle as some people were bullying them for their disabilities. Humby even faced troubles every time he changed schools.

What makes them interesting is that the imperfections can be turned to become a source of desire to overcome any limit.

I know that every people (including me and you) have their own imperfections, which may or may not related to the physical condition. Some people like the athletes have an imperfect body and struggled to become a successful athlete, or some other people have an imperfect financial condition (coming from financially poor family) and struggled to become rich.

As you can see from the three inspiring athletes, imperfections are not a reason to not being able to achieve your dream. Use your imperfections as a good reason to achieve your dream with hard work, and you will surprise people who look down at you.

Those Are Athletes Who Overcame Disabilities

I think these 3 athletes and many other disabled athletes are a great example that if we have passion and great desire to achieve our dreams, then everything is possible. Throughout our life, we will always encounter various obstacles. But if we have strong will and determination, we’d be able to overcome any difficulties, even the ones that seem impossible.

If you have any food for thought, please leave a comment below and I will reply to it happily :) Let me close my post with this self-made quote:

“Imperfection is the perfect reason why you must achieve your dreams. It exists as a stepping stone, not as a wall.”
– Alexander Blue –

Alexander Blue

A writer, gamer, book lover, music addict, and a dreamer. My life motto is 'Every thousand mile begins with a single step'. I like to share helpful information with others because the positive feeling is contagious and it will make everyone's life better.

Share the Inspiration :)


  1. Marques Pizarro

    I an tell you put so much effort into this article because you give so much detail! As a teenage bodybuilder and basketball player, I am so happy to read this; I love all these athletes, and my favorite was Baxter Humby because of his quote ” I can’t is not in my vocabulary.” Keep it up, I love your content. Thank you so much, and I will comeback for more inspiration and knowledge.

    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Thanks Marques and good luck with your bodybuilding effort :)

  2. Kenny Lee

    Wow. Reading about these great athletes literally put me into shame. If they can overcome their physical disabilities and achieve greatness in their fields, what’s preventing us from doing the same? We often blame the lack of motivation, etc but that’s all in our mind. It can be changed compared to physical disabilities. Thank you for the inspiration.

    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Yes you’re right. We should aware with our traits and maximize our potentials to reach our goals :)

  3. Beatrice

    Amazing and truly inspiring!
    Achieving their goals despite their disabilities really shows how strong they are. I believe that mind is everything, it is up to you to decide whether you will be a success or a failure. If you want something 100% then you find a way to make it work, but if not then only you will find are excuses.

    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Yes you are right Beatrice :) Determination is the key here. Thanks for sharing your opinion :)

  4. Tyler Redlev

    These guys are real inspirations and they really show us that there is nothing impossible!

    I also have dreams of becoming an artist and i’m really talented, but i have been mislead in this life, but i think that it’s never too late for anything! You can achieve anything at any age and only thing that stops you achieving it is yourself.

    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Hi again Tyler :) I know what you feel. I was also mislead somehow but yeah, it’s never too late to change it. I changed my job, I changed my mind, and I changed my life path. There will be a way or another to achieve what you want.

      The disabilities athletes are some good examples about it. Always looking for a way to achieve your dream :)

  5. Alexey

    First of all I live a healthy lifestyle and I love sports, therfore I liked your article from the beginning.
    Secondly, it is such a great motivational article !
    I feel like I can move a mountain off his place!

    Such strong people ! I enjoyed so much.. Thanks !

    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Hi Alexey :) Wow you must have a good lifestyle then. Yeah, they are very strong and I will cover some of inspiring disabilities people again in the future. Thanks for your visit :)

  6. Debra

    Wow, an entire website dedicated to inspiration, self improvement, hope…I love it! I found this article not only inspiring but also interesting. I learned a lot! I’ve already begun to check out some of your other posts – and I’m particularly interested in the books you recommend. Thank you so much for putting together this wonderful website!

    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Hi Debra, wow thanks too :) Glad that you’ve learnt a lot from this article and other posts too. Looking forward to your next visit.

  7. Sarah

    I went to grade school with a boy that had also lost one of his arms from birth as well. It never held him back, was just as strong as any other, and never even took notice of that fact that he wasn’t exactly the same as everyone else. I really liked that and I hope that my children never act out of place or disrespectfully towards others with disabilities. Because in the end, they’re not disabilities. I believe they’re advantages on other ways that the rest of us can never understand.

    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Sarah, it is very nice to hear about that. Every people have their own advantages and disadvantages. There are so many disabilities out there (either physically or mentally) that have outstanding skills.

      We should honor everyone even though they have a “different” look or specific trait. Thank you for sharing this. Also, you gae me an idea to cover the mental disabilities. I’ll write a post about them someday. :)

  8. Vic

    Thank you for this very inspiring post, I always really enjoy stories about people who have overcome seemingly impossible challenges to go and make a great success. The paralympics is always such an amazing series to watch. I truly believe that people can overcome anything if they have the correct mindset. You have to really believe in yourself and believe you can achieve what you want to! thank you

    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Vic, thank you for your comment. Yes it is always nice to see some people that truly work hard and overcome their limitation to achive success. You shoot it right about correct mindset :) Thank you.

  9. Cathy

    Hi there Alex,

    This inspirational post reminds me of the famous Jen Bricker, who was born without legs, but ended becoming an acrobat and an aerialist. She’s only 28 years old and has already won a few titles. She was also a performer at Britney Spears’s tour.

    Indeed, these special people taught us a great deal about ‘our handicap’ more than theirs.

    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Cathy, I’ll be sure to check on her. Thank you very much for the sharing. Yes, indeed they are amazing :)

  10. Daniella

    Hi Alblue,

    What a nice article, I really enjoyed reading!
    I know a woman who lost her two legs in a train accident.
    She became very popular in sports endurance.She does hiking. She said that when she had her two legs, she didn’t realise the meaning of life but start to more appreciate the life after the accident. Today she is really happy. Everything is in the head and in the stomach.
    Your article is awesome, keep writing:)
    Thank you very much

    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Daniella, wow really glad to hear that :) I’m also happy for her because she didn’t give up and even overcame limit. Thanks and you’re welcome too :)

  11. Tina

    Hi Alblue. Your article is the first I came across that discuss the ability and achievement of disabled athletes. It’s no doubt they serve as inspiration to others who may feel limited or hopeless. I think it’s wonderful you shared a story on how they overcame challenges to reach for their dreams or to succeed at something.

    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Tina. I agree with you. Disabilities athletes like them have the courage to overcome their limit, which is something that most of able-bodied people fear. We have our own limit, but the limit exists as our stepping stone. Thanks for the wonderful comment too :)

  12. Randy

    Hello, very inspirational post.
    Why do so many people give up in life?
    These 3 athletes could have easily given up, and who could blame them?
    This just shows us that everything and anything is possible if we just keep at it.
    It doesn’t matter what we want to achieve, there must be a way. I’m sure there are examples of people who have done it before with less ability than the average person.
    Thank you for posting this,

    1. Alblue (Post author)

      Hi Randy, thank you for reading. Yes, people always have a choice to give up or keep up and continue to struggle. These 3 athletes choose to continue with their hard work and they finaly able to achieve a dream that most of able-bodied people give up too.

      I believe the way to achieve our dream exist whenever we choose to not give up, like them :)


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