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Bodybuilders and Disability: People Didn’t Allow Disability to Ruin their Career




                  Bodybuilding is a sport many people admire and would want to participate in it. However, only a few make it in this highly competitive sport. It involves a lot of resistance exercises to achieve muscularity and good physical shape. Most importantly, it involves the coordination of virtually every body part and organ to achieve the desired results. However, it is unfortunate that some people lack some of these parts due to accidents and illnesses or cannot use them like everyone else. What’s more impressive is that some of these people have found a way of overcoming their various disabilities and doing things like ordinary people, sometimes even better. To prove that disability is not inability, here are ten bodybuilders who defied all odds to become some of the best in the world.

Nick Scott

                  Scott was usual for the first 16 years of his life until a horrific car accident changed his life forever. Scott was behind the wheel on that fateful day, heading to an undisclosed location. Then his car lost control and veered off the road, flipping several times before landing in a ditch. He came around after some time, only to realize that he couldn’t feel his body from the waist downwards.

                The doctors would later tell him that he was paralyzed from the waist. Scott had to take painkillers to ease his excruciating pain, but again it meant he wouldn’t leave the hospital where he could access the drugs easily. He didn’t like this and decided to do without the painkillers, the first battle he had to win in his new condition. Scott left the hospital later on and had to withstand the pain until he healed completely.

                Scott’s next assignment was to pursue his passion despite his situation. He began a bodybuilding career that saw him become an inspiration to many people. Scott is referred to as ‘the best because he outdid many people with otherwise standard bodies throughout his bodybuilding career.

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Anand Arnold

               Anand Arnold is an Indian professional bodybuilder who, like Scott, overcame all obstacles to realize his dreams. His love for bodybuilding started at a young age. He was only 13 when he started following his brother to the gym. By age 15, he was one of India's few rising stars in bodybuilding. However, this was to be brought to a screeching halt by a fist-sized tumor in his lower back. He underwent surgery to remove the cyst but became paralyzed due to neck down paralysis. Doctors said he’d remain bedridden, something that put a test to his bodybuilding career.

            Anand Arnold refused to be confined to his bed by partial paralysis and decided he would pursue his dreams regardless. He started going to the gym in a wheelchair and continued doing what he loved most. The determinant was so good at bodybuilding that he won a Mr. India bodybuilding title, among many other awards.

Nino Savona

              This man walks on crutches but possesses a body many people only dream of. Sanona says he has God to thank for his incredible spirit of determination that inspires many. He knows that he must work harder than everyone else, and this determination in training has seen him become one of the best. People who have seen him train at the gym think he overworks himself with the many intense exercises. Additionally, Sanova is known to stop at nothing until he achieves a particular objective he has in mind. Sometimes he even puts down his crutches and runs on the treadmill harder than most fully functional folks. The legend cites people with disability as the reason he works so hard, to prove that disability cannot stop them from realizing their dreams.

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Sham Singh Shera

                Sham Shera is a victim of polio which made him partially disabled. However, this did not put him down, and he decided to to do bodybuilding at 15. He was very disciplined in his training routine and diet.

             His efforts eventually paid off, with several bodybuilding awards coming his way. For instance, he won the IFBB World Championship on two occasions; in 2011 and 2015. He also became North India Champion three times, a feat very few people have achieved. Sham Shera remains a household name in bodybuilding corridors, inspiring many to go for it even when disability seems to get in their way.

John Quinn

            A motorcycle accident broke John Quinn’s bones and nearly shattered all his dreams. He is a staunch Christian who believes the accident was God’s plan to make him more significant than his former self. This kind of belief shaped his life as far as bodybuilding is concerned. Quinn has a strong mind that has seen him work to strengthen his body as well. He advises people to chase their dreams irrespective of the situations they find themselves in. Most importantly, he believes impossibility is only in the mind and that people can overcome challenges by changing their mindset. John Quinn is a successful bodybuilder with an admirable body and is worth following on his various social platforms.

Sophie Butler

               Sophie Butler, in her mid-20s, met her fate in the place she enjoyed being the most, a gym. On that fateful day in July 2017, a loaded Smith machine fell on her back, severing most of her bones. She was taken to the hospital, where she underwent surgery. However, she ended up becoming paralyzed from the waist down. For once, she thought all her dreams had ended but decided otherwise after coming to terms with her situation. She continued going to the gym in a wheelchair and would do all sorts of exercises five to six days a week.

            Not even the post-traumatic stress disorder she developed after the accident could prevent Sophie from pursuing her passion. Her caregivers at the hospital and rehabilitation center where she was recovering encouraged her to go to the gym. After that, she went home, and her family moved to a new town. Sophie’s dad found a good gym where she started working out. Long story short, Sophie is now a complete package of fitness coach, influencer, and advocate for people with disability. She is currently based in the United Kingdom.

Reggie Benett

               Reggie accidentally shot himself with a gun he was playing with at 13. The incident left him unable to walk and affected many aspects of his life. However, he decided to turn things around for himself and those with a disability like him by becoming a bodybuilder. Expectedly, he had to work harder than fully functional people and was prepared to do just that.

             Besides active bodybuilding, Reggie is a motivational speaker with a huge fan base. He uses this platform to inspire and motivate people to pursue their dreams despite unfavorable situations. The bodybuilder does everything in a wheelchair, which makes him more of an inspiration. Most importantly. He advises people against giving excuses and doing the impossible instead.

Matt Elson

             Matt Elson suffers from a rare type of cerebral palsy that impairs one side of the body. Hemiplegia, as the condition is known, has paralyzed Elson’s left side. However, he has decided to put the healthy side of his body to good use by becoming a bodybuilder. Elson started by building his confidence and mental strength to prepare for the task ahead. He also took care of his emotional power by creating a family in his early 30s. Despite having a career in marketing, Elson decided to throw all his strength into bodybuilding. He learned about disability bodybuilding and did his best to create a name there.

               It took him over five years to become an elite bodybuilder with many admirers. He qualified for many bodybuilding contests, including PCA Hampshire, BodyPower, and British PCA finals, among others. Elson won many titles, including the recent PCA European Championship. Winning an American competition is his most significant objective at the moment.

James Sutliff

                Last on our list is James Sutliff, a bodybuilder who doubles up as a disability fitness coach. Everything was fine until James woke up one day and found he could not speak and move his hand normally. He would later learn that he has Dystonia, which causes the body’s muscles to contract uncontrollably. Despite this sad realization, James refused to let it change his life for the worst. He capitalized on this rare disability to become one of the best bodybuilders. Most importantly, he used his experience to change the lives of others through coaching and motivational speaking. James adapted to his condition quickly and turned it into an inspirational story encouraging many people in similar situations.


                Disability and bodybuilding are two things many people don’t think could work together. However, the bodybuilders discussed above have proven beyond reasonable doubt that anything is possible through hard work and determination. This Article is for everyone afraid of pursuing their dreams because of disability. It can be done. All you need is a strong mind and determination to overcome any situation you find yourself in. Please note that the Article isArticleant to shame people who consider themselves normal but are not performing as they should. Instead, it sends a general message that we all have what it takes to make it in bodybuilding, whether we are disabled or not.

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