Athletes That Have Overcome Obstacles

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Athletes That Have Overcome Obstacles

Athletes are known for their physical prowess and determination, but some have had to overcome much more than just athletic challenges to reach their goals. These individuals have faced life-altering obstacles that could have stopped them in their tracks, but instead, they found a way to push through and triumph. Here are just a few examples of athletes who have overcome incredible obstacles.

Kristie Ennis

Kristie Ennis is a former Marine who was tragically injured in a helicopter crash while serving in Afghanistan. She lost her left leg above the knee, suffered facial fractures, and had a traumatic brain injury. Despite these obstacles, Ennis became a snowboarder and rock climber, and in 2018, she attempted to climb the highest peak in Antarctica. Her resiliency has earned her numerous awards, including the Pat Tillman award for service.

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds was a star football player in high school and even earned a scholarship to Florida State University. However, he suffered a knee injury that ended his football career, and he turned to acting instead. Reynolds went on to become one of the most famous actors of his time, starring in numerous blockbuster films and winning multiple awards.

Jim Abbott

Jim Abbott was born without a right hand, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming a baseball player. He went on to play for the University of Michigan and later for the California Angels, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, and Milwaukee Brewers. Abbott’s success on the field was a testament to his determination and perseverance.

Wilma Rudolph

Wilma Rudolph was born prematurely and suffered from polio as a child, which caused her to wear a leg brace for years. Despite this, she went on to become one of the greatest track and field athletes of all time, winning three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics. Rudolph’s accomplishments were an inspiration to many, especially young girls who saw her as a role model.

Shaquem Griffin

Shaquem Griffin was born with a congenital disorder that left him with just one hand. Despite this, he became a standout football player in high school and earned a scholarship to the University of Central Florida. In 2018, he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, becoming the first one-handed player to be drafted in the modern era of the NFL. Griffin’s perseverance and dedication have inspired many people.


These athletes are just a few examples of individuals who have faced significant obstacles but refused to give up on their dreams. Their stories are inspirational and a testament to the power of determination and perseverance. They remind us that we all have the ability to overcome challenges if we stay focused, work hard, and never give up.

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Athletes That Have Overcome Obstacles