Archive for the Bad-ass Dudes Category

Herbert James Munro

Posted in Bad-ass Dudes on May 10, 2009 by badassmofos

The Legend of the World’s Fastest Indian

Burt MunroH. J. “Burt” Munro was born in 1899, at his parents home in Invercargill, New Zealand.  His twin sister died at birth and Burt, said the doctor, “won’t live till he’s two.”  What he didn’t take into account was that Burt was a bad-ass.  Fortunately for New Zealand and motorcycle history, the doctor was wrong.

Burt was constantly bored with the daily routine.  His interest in speed began at a young age, riding the family’s fastest horse across the farm, despite the complaints of his father.  Trips via train to the port at Invercargill were a rare source of excitement, and the arrival of cars, motorcycles and aircraft added to Burt’s eagerness to join the world outside of his farm.  His family discouraged his endeavors outside of farm life, but that didn’t stop Burt.

Burt's Munro Special in its ongoing development, circa 1943

Burt's Munro Special in its ongoing development, circa 1943

In 1915 he bought his first motorcycle, a Douglas.  By 1919, Burt had saved £50 to buy a new Clyno with a sidecar.  He removed the sidecar and entered the Clyno in local races.  Speed records were set at the Fortrose circuit, near Invercargill, but the Clyno wasn’t kept for long when the Indian came on the scene.

World's Fastest Indian

In 1920, the 21 year old Munro stood gazing at a brand-new motorcycle in an Invercargill garage.  His eyes roved over the neat little V twin engine, the cast alloy primary case, and the leaf sprung front fork.  His hand lovingly stroked the gleaming red paint and the sparkle of the polished nickel matched that in his eyes.  The proprietor was spoken to, a deal was struck, and the young man bought his motorcycle—beginning a partnership which was to last until his death in December 1978.  Burt’s Indian Scout was very early off the production line, being only the 627th Scout to leave the American factory.  The bike wasn’t a very fast model and, in original condition, would have been lucky to achieve 60mph.

Motor

The motor: no pressure feed, just hand oiled before every run.

Burt began modifying his bike in 1926.  Burt wasn’t a rich man and his methods, to say the least, were unorthodox.  He used an old spoke for a micrometer and cast parts in old tins.  One American report has him casting pistons in holes in the sand at the local beach!  He built his own four-cam design to replace the standard two-cam system and converted the engine to overhead valves.  He made his own barrels, flywheels, pistons, cams, and lubrication system.  He hand-carved his rods from a Caterpillar tractor axle, and hardened & tempered them to 143 tons of tensile strength.  He built a thousand pound pressure clutch and used a triple chain drive.  He also experimented with streamlining and, in its final form, the bike was completely enclosed in a streamlined shell.  Basically, he redid damn near everything.  In its final stages, the Indian’s displacement was 950cc (as built it was 600cc).  Hell, he used a cork from a brandy bottle as a gas cap!

73-5654_600He competed around New Zealand and Australia regularly setting records and winning races.  His goal though, was to test the bike on the salt flats at Bonneville in Utah.  In 1962, at the age of 63, he made it to America with the Indian hoping to compete.  He had not signed up, but was allowed to race through the co-operation of Rollie Free and Marty Dickerson (also bad-asses).  He set a world record for 850cc engines of 179mph.

Burt at the FlatsHis visits to the salt were not without incident. In the 1973 first issue of Motorcycle New Zealand, Burt is quoted as follows: “At the Salt in 1967, we were going like a bomb.  Then she got the wobbles just over half way through the run. To slow her down, I sat up.  The wind tore my goggles off and the blast forced my eyeballs back into my head – couldn’t see a thing.  We were so far off the black line that we missed a steel marker stake by inches.  I put her down – a few scratches all ’round but nothing much else”  At the time Burt was traveling at close to 206 mph!

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In all, Burt Munro made ten trips to Bonneville.  In 1967, at the age of 68, he set a land speed record of 185.586 mph—on a 47-year old machine with an original top speed of 55.  To this day, no one has broken his record (motorcycle under 1000cc).

Munro2The “Munro Special,” as Munro called his bike, is now owned by a motorcycle enthusiast on New Zealand’s South Island, and is on display at E. Hayes & Sons, Invercargill.  His efforts, and success, are the basis of the motion picture The World’s Fastest Indian (2005), starring Anthony Hopkins, and an earlier 1971 short documentary film Burt Munro: Offerings to the God of Speed.

The Munro Special at E. Hayes & Sons hardware store in Invercargill, NZ

Munro Special at E. Hayes & Sons hardware store in Invercargill, NZ

Here are the source links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burt_Munro and here: http://thejanuscenter.com/heroworkshop/heromunro.htm and here: http://www.indianmotorbikes.com/features/munro/munro.htm and here: http://www.antiquemotorcycle.org/TheMagazine/burt_monro.html

Laurence Tureaud

Posted in Bad-ass Dudes on May 8, 2009 by badassmofos

a.k.a. Mr. T

Mister T!

"When I was growing up, my family was so poor we couldn't afford to pay attention."

Mr. T was born Laurence Tureaud in Chicago.  He was the second youngest child in a family of twelve children.  His father left when Laurence was 5, and his mother raised the family on a $87 a month budget via welfare in a three-room apartment.  Mr. T’s brothers encouraged him to build up his body in order to survive in the area.  He has commented, “If you think I’m big, you should see my brothers!”

Laurence attended Paul Lawrence Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, where he played football, wrestled, and studied martial arts.  He won a scholarship to Prairie View A&M University, but was thrown out after a year (probably for being too bad-ass).  He attended other small Chicago area colleges on athletic scholarships.  After leaving school, Laurence became a military policeman in the U.S. Army

A serious T

"As a kid, I got three meals a day. Oatmeal, miss-a-meal, and no meal."

He worked as a club bouncer after he returned from the army.  It was at this time that he created the “Mr. T” persona.  His wearing of gold chains and other jewelry was the often result of customers leaving them behind after a fight.  Mr. T wore their jewelry as he stood out front.  If a customer came back, their item(s) was readily visible and available with any further confrontations.  Often, these former customers — scared sh!tless — didn’t return.  Mr. T thus built up a large gold collection and earned a bad-ass reputation.

Mr. T managed eventually to parlay his job as a bouncer into a career as a bodyguard to the stars that lasted almost ten years.  He protected well-known personalities like Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, and Diana Ross.  He also protected boxers like Muhammad Ali, Leon Spinks, and Joe Frazier. He charged approximately $3,000 per day.  His business card read, “Next to God, there is no greater protector than I.”  Mr. T claimed that he never lost a client, saying “I got hurt worse growing up in the ghetto than working as a bodyguard.”

While reading National Geographic, Mr. T first noticed the unusual hairstyle, for which he is now famous, on a Mandinka warrior. He decided that adoption of the style would be a powerful statement about his African origin.  It was a more permanent visual signature than his gold.  His ultra-sonic cleaned jewelry, at the time, was worth about $300,000 and took him about an hour to put on.  Occasionally, he would sleep with the heavy neck chains and bracelets on, “to see how my ancestors, who were slaves, felt.”

Rocky vs. Clubber

Try a breath mint, fool!

In 1980, Mr. T was spotted by Sylvester Stallone while taking part in NBC show “America’s Toughest Bouncer” competition (he won America’s Toughest Bouncer twice).  His role in Rocky III was originally intended as just a few lines …but that’s not how he rolls.  His catchphrase comes from the film, in which he played the boxer Clubber Lang. When asked if he hated Rocky, he replied “No. I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool.”

Delicious_T

A Mister T cartoon premiered in 1983 on NBC.  It starred Mr. T as the owner of a gym where he helped kids train.  These kids would, in turn, “help” Mr. T solve mysteries and fight crime.  Thirty ass-kicking episodes were produced.  Mr. T also had cereal & a whole brunch of crap made in his image.  The whole world loved T.

MrT_Cookie

"Cookies taste good stored in my head, fool!"

He made a motivational video called Be Somebody… or Be Somebody’s Fool! in 1984.  He gives helpful advice to children throughout the video.  He teaches them how to understand and appreciate their origins, how to control their anger, and how to deal with peer pressure.  He also teaches kids how to dress fashionably(?) without buying designer labels and how to make tripping up look like break-dancing.

Mr. T Breakin'

The video is roughly an hour long.  It contains 30 minutes of songs and raps by Mr. T, sometimes with children.  He sings “Treat Your Mother Right (Treat Her Right).”  He also raps about growing up in the ghetto and praising God.  The raps in this video were written by Ice T.  Imagine the awesomeness of the meeting of the great T minds…

Album Cover

That same year he released Mr. T’s Commandments, a related rap album. Also in 1984, he starred in the film, The Toughest Man in the World. Bad-asses aren’t lazy.  Unlike a lot of celebrities, Mr. T was quite conscious of being a positive role model for the millions of children who admired him: he never drank, smoked, or took drugs of any kind. He turned down acting roles that cast him as the villain or as overtly sexy.

Mr. T entered the world of professional wrestling in 1985.  He was Hulk Hogan’s tag-team partner at the first WrestleMania.  Unfortunately, the main event was almost ruined because when he arrived, security would not let his entourage into the building.

In The A-Team, he played Sergeant Bosco “B.A.” Baracus (B.A. is an abbreviation of “Bad Attitude” as well as “Bosco Albert”).  When asked at a press conference whether he was as stupid as B.A. Baracus, he observed quietly, “It takes a smart guy to play dumb.”  Mr. T was once reported to be earning around $80,000 a week for his role in The A-Team and getting $15,000 for personal appearances.  However, by the end of the 1990s, he was appearing only in the occasional commercial, largely because of health problems (In 1995, he was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma).  Don’t worry.  Mr. T beat cancer, like many other suckers who jibber-jabber, in 2001 at age 49.

T's got nuts!!He has appeared in commercials for MCI’s 1-800-COLLECT collect-call service and on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.  He has also appeared in a slew more commercials, including the 2007 U.K. campaign advertising the chocolate bar, Snickers, with the slogan “Get Some Nuts!”

...I actually have one of these

I actually have one of these. Yep, I thought (and still do) that Mr. T is bad-ass.

Mr. T didn’t invest his money unwisely like other folks such as MC Hammer.  He splits his time between his suburban Chicago home and a 20-acre ranch in the foothills near Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he spends most of his summers.  In 2005, Mr. T stated that he would never wear his chains (albeit in commercials) again.  He arrived at this decision after seeing the effects of Hurricane Katrina.  He has donated a lot of money over his lifetime to charities and his family.

“I use my celebrity status to inspire someone, to give them hope.  I tell them where I grew up—on the South Side of Chicago.  I tell them how I was born and raised in the ghetto, but the ghetto wasn’t born and raised in me.  About how I loved and respected my mother, how my mother used to teach us to bless our food, and reminded us to be thankful for what we had.  She said if you can appreciate what little you have, God will give you more.  And that’s what I think happened when I look back on my life.”

PityTheFool

How can you not love Mr. T?  Christ, he was voted by a BBC-run poll as the fourth most influential American in history, behind Homer Simpson, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King!

Here are the source links: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001558/bio and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._T and here: http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Celebrities/Words-Of-Wisdom-From-Mr-T.aspx and vh1’s bio (they get squirrelly when it comes to linking).

Jim Thorpe

Posted in Bad-ass Dudes on May 2, 2009 by badassmofos

jim-thorpe

James Francis “Jim” Thorpe was born in 1887 in a one-room cabin near Prague, Oklahoma. There is much confusion on the exact date. He was born to Hiram Thorpe, a farmer, and Mary James, a Pottawatomie Indian and descendant of the last great Sauk and Fox chief Black Hawk, a noted warrior and athlete.  His Indian name, Wa-Tho-Huk, translated to “Bright Path”, something that Thorpe definitely had ahead of him.

As a child, the rambunctious Thorpe became his athletic father’s protege, at times running 20 miles home from school. “I never was content,” he said, “unless I was trying my skill in some game against my fellow playmates or testing my endurance and wits against some member of the animal kingdom.”

Thorpe reportedly began his athletic career at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1907, when he walked past the the field where the varsity track team is practicing the high jump. Thorpe shyly asks if he can have a try at clearing the bar, which is set at five foot nine. The guys on the track team, snickering, say “Sure kid, try it.” He set the school’s record in clad in heavy overalls and work boots. In 1909, he left school to play baseball for two years before returning to play football, baseball, and basketball. Thorpe gained nationwide attention for the first time in 1911. As a running back, defensive back, placekicker, and punter for his school’s football team, Thorpe scored all of his team’s points — four field goals and a touchdown—in an 18–15 upset of Harvard. His team finished the season 11–1. Bored (being a bad-ass), he trained for the 1912 Stockholm Olympics in track.

Jimmy

At the 1912 Olympics, he won the pentathlon and decathlon by huge margins, setting world records in both events. His records stood for decades. King Gustav V of Sweden, presented Thorpe with his gold medals for both accomplishments. Before Thorpe could walk away, the king grabbed his hand and declared “Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world.” Thorpe replied simply “Thanks King.” Unfortunately, some d@uche-bag reporter revealed his two years of semi-professional baseball. Thorpe was stripped of his medals.

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In his last college season, Thorpe scored 198 points and was voted first-string, All-American halfback. That 1912 record included a 27–6 victory over Army. During that game, future President Dwight Eisenhower injured his knee while trying to tackle Thorpe. Eisenhower recalled of Thorpe in a 1961 speech, “Here and there, there are some people who are supremely endowed. My memory goes back to Jim Thorpe. He never practiced in his life, and he could do anything better than any other football player I ever saw.” Thorpe was awarded All-American honors in both 1911 and 1912.

Once out of school, he signed to play baseball with the National League Champion New York Giants. From 1913 to 1929, he usually switched sports each season from baseball to football, which he played professionally until he was 41 years old.

Football was not as popular as baseball back then, but Thorpe helped make it the wildly popular sport it is today and became the first president of the new American Professional Football Association (later the National Football League–NFL).

The Depression proved a hard time for Thorpe. He could not afford to buy a ticket to the 1932 Olympic games. When he was invited to sit in the presidential box, a crowd of 105,000 stood to cheer him. 30 years after his death, Thorpe was also given back his Olympic medals (his relatives got ’em) and his name was reentered into the record books.

Two monumental honors were bestowed unto Thorpe in 1950, when he was named “the greatest American football player” and the “greatest overall male athlete” by the Associated Press.

wheaties box featuring thorpe

Thorpe is considered the greatest athlete of the 20th century. Period. A major motion picture, several books, stamps, awards, and a borough in Carbon County, Pennsylvania were created and/or named in his honor. Hell, he got a Wheaties’ box to boot! The bad-ass of cereals!!

Here are the source links: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/jb/gilded/thorpe_1 and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Thorpe and here: http://www.cmgww.com/sports/thorpe/

Willis Reed

Posted in Bad-ass Dudes on May 2, 2009 by badassmofos

reed

Willis Reed was born on June 25, 1942, in Hico, Louisiana.  A place so tiny that he once told Pro Basketball Illustrated, “They don’t even have a population.”  Reed, however, was far from tiny.  Reed began playing basketball as a 6’2″ eighth-grader.  After enjoying great success in high school, he went to nearby Grambling State University, an all-black school famous for its football teams.

He ended up playing b-ball at Grambling, where he amassed 2,280 career points, averaged 26.6 points and 21.3 rebounds during his senior year, and led the school to one NAIA title and three Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships.  The 6’10”, 240-pound Reed was eventually drafted 10th overall by the Knicks in 1964, where he quickly established himself as a fierce, dominating and physical force on both ends of the floor.

Reed made an immediate impact with the Knicks.  In March 1965 he scored 46 points against the Los Angeles Lakers, the second highest single-game total ever by a Knicks rookie.  For the season, he ranked seventh in the NBA in scoring (19.5 points per game) and fifth in rebounding (14.7 rebounds per game).  He also began his string of All-Star appearances and was named the NBA Rookie of the Year.

Willis has got a lot of balls!

Willis has got a lot of balls.

In the first four games of the 70’s Finals against the formidable Los Angeles Lakers, Reed had scored 37, 29, 38 and 23 points, respectively, while averaging 15 rebounds.  In the fourth quarter of Game 5, he sustained a deep thigh injury.  The Knicks managed to survive that encounter, but were demolished by the Lakers in Game 6.

The seventh game of the 1970 Knicks-Lakers Finals was one of the greatest games ever — not just in the NBA Finals, not just in hoops, but in sports history.  Willis Reed’s dramatic entrance was a big reason why.  At 7:34 p.m., Reed, the soul of the Knicks, defied doctor’s advice & limped onto the court.  Bad-asses defy stuff.  The crowd went wild, and his teammates’ confidence returned with a vengeance.  Reed somehow managed to outjump Wilt Chamberlain on the opening tip, then scored the game’s first basket on a shot from the top of the key.  He then scored the second New York basket from 20 feet out.

willis-reed-limpNew York’s Bill Bradley recalled Game 7, in an article in The New York Times: “We left the locker room for the warm-ups not knowing if Willis was going to come out or not.”  Said Walt Frazier, “‘When he did that (emerged from the tunnel), we said, ‘Yeah, the captain is ready.'”  After Reed scored those first two buckets, Bradley recalled “At that point, the whole team had been lifted several levels.”  Willis wouldn’t score again, but he hobbled up and down the court for 27 minutes and helped hold Wilt Chamberlain to only 21 points.  Frazier did the rest, scoring 37 points in the Knicks rout and coming up with some decent hip-hop verbiage to sum it all up: “Willis provided the inspiration, I provided the devastation.”

Big bad-asses need big bad-ass boxes of Wheaties!

Big bad-asses need big bad-ass boxes of Wheaties!

For all his achievements, Reed was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.  He is widely considered as one of the greatest Knicks ever, with the likes of Walt Frazier and Patrick Ewing.  In a 1997 poll entitled the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, Reed was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

He is currently the Vice President of Basketball Operations for the New Orleans Hornets.

Here are the source links: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=list/nba_finalsmoments and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willis_Reed and here: http://www.nba.com/history/players/reed_bio.html and here:http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/willis-reed-at.htm

Jason “J-Mac” McElwain

Posted in Bad-ass Dudes on April 22, 2009 by badassmofos

Jason McElwain, nicknamed “J-Mac” (born October 1, 1988), is an American with autism who made national news in 2006 when he played for four minutes during a high school basketball game and scored twenty points.

Jason

Jason "J-Mac" McElwain

McElwain was diagnosed with autism at a young age.  He didn’t begin talking until he was 5 and still lacks social skills; however, he has learned to cope well in his teens, said his special-education teacher, Diane Maddock.  McElwain had a passion for basketball, so Greece Athena High School basketball coach Jim Johnson appointed him manager (a.k.a. “motivational water boy”) of the team.

On February 15, 2006, Greece Athena was playing Spencerport High School for a division title.  Jim Johnson decided to add McElwain to the roster, so J-Mac could be given a jersey and sit on the bench for the team’s last home game of the season.  Greece Athena got a large lead, so Johnson decided to let McElwain play in the last four minutes.  It was his first and only appearance for the Athena varsity team in this Rochester suburb.  After initially missing two shots, the 5-foot-6 McElwain made six three-point shots and one two-pointer.  The final score was Greece Athena 79, Spencerport 43.  As soon as the final buzzer rang, the stands erupted and stormed the court in celebration.  J-Mac was carried off the court on his teammates’ shoulders.

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“It was like a big old bucket and I was just hitting them like they were free throws,” McElwain said.  “I just felt relaxed.”

The coach couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“He’s been my right-hand man, he’s there every day and just getting him the opportunity to suit up was emotional enough for me,” he said.  “For him to come in and seize the moment like he did was certainly more than I ever expected.  I was an emotional wreck.”

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McElwain met President George W. Bush on March 14, 2006, when Bush stopped by a nearby airport, so he could meet McElwain.  Standing next to McElwain, Bush went on to praise him, saying “Our country was captivated by an amazing story on the basketball court.  It’s the story of a young man who found his touch on the basketball court, which, in turn, touched the hearts of citizens all around the country.”  Bush also claimed that upon seeing McElwain on television, he “wept, just like a lot of other people did.”  Bad-asses make presidents weep. Quarterback Peyton Manning visited and invited McElwain to the Colts’ training camp for a week.  He accepted.

J-Mac Bobble-head

J-Mac Bobble-head

McElwain threw out the opening pitch for the Rochester Red Wings’ game against the Charlotte Knights.  The Red Wings also gave away 3,500 free bobble-head dolls that were modeled after McElwain.

McElwain even won an ESPY Award for the Best Moment in Sports in 2006.  To win that award, McElwain beat out Kobe Bryant’s 81-point-game and the George Mason Patriots’ run to the Final Four.  Who does that? A bad-ass mo-fo. The speech that Jason gave upon winning the award was about dreams coming true.  In addition to the many celebrities McElwain met, he also appeared on various talk shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show (what the hell is up with bad-asses ending up on Oprah?), Larry King Live (an oxymoron), Good Morning America, and Today.

mcelwain

In 2007, Topps trading cards produced a Jason McElwain card as part of its retro-themed Allen & Ginter set.  In 2009, he appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for Gatorade as part of their “What is G?” ad campaign.

Following his rise to fame, Jason McElwain wrote a book titled The Game of My Life (2/5/2008).  The 256 pages long book is written mainly by Jason, but includes sections written by his family, coach, and teammates.  Editorial reviews were left by celebrities such as Magic Johnson and Doug Flutie.

Because he played in just one regular-season game, McElwain was ineligible for sectional play.  But he’s not bothered.  “I just want to win as a team, not individually,” he said.  What’s more, he prides himself on having a lot of friends.

“I’m not really that different,” he said.  “I don’t really care about this autistic situation, really.  It’s just the way I am.  The advice I’d give to autistic people is just keep working, just keep dreaming, you’ll get your chance and you’ll do it.”

J-Mac with young autistic boy

J-Mac with young autistic boy

In April 2006, it was announced that Columbia Pictures had bought the rights to produce a film about McElwain.  He also travels across the United States to help raise funds for autism, because he is a bad-ass savant.

Here is a video with J-Mac’s bad-ass performance: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-818944862742874918

Here are the source links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_McElwain and here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=2348397

Kyle Maynard

Posted in Bad-ass Dudes on April 18, 2009 by badassmofos

Kyle

Kyle Maynard was born with a rare disorder called congenital amputation.  Kyle was born with no legs, only two small feet turned at weird angles where the tops of the femurs are supposed to be.  That can be a pretty severe handicap, but try wrestling with no legs … and no fingers, no hands and no elbows!  He was born with stubs for arms that stop a few inches above where his elbows should be.  “We didn’t think he’d ever be able to live on his own,” remembers Anita, Kyle’s mother.

Kyle’s dad made a pivotal decision that would ultimately bless his son in ways he could not have known. The Maynards would raise Kyle with a lot of love—but no special treatment. They let little Kyle figure out how to get around on his own, how to use a spoon and how to overcome the hundreds of obstacles he faced—all by himself. Kyle rose to every challenge, and never felt the need to use prosthetics. “It was a decision I made early on,” he says. … [The prosthetics] slowed me down. Why be disabled when I could get up and run around the house without them?”

Kyle_Football

Like many other boys, Kyle dreamed of playing football. “I thought they would put him as water boy,” Anita says. But Kyle was no water boy. Amazingly, he played down in the trenches with the other guys. His small size, however, put him at a disadvantage. Kyle set his eyes on another sport—wrestling.  Again Kyle was at a disadvantage. He went a year and a half without a win. “He lost and he lost,” says Scott, Kyle’s father, “I started to think this wasn’t such a good idea.” But Kyle stuck it out. Badasses do not give up.

He has no elbows and no knees, yet he competed in the 2004 Georgia High School Wrestling Championships. He graduated from Collins Hill High School with a wrestling record of 35 wins, 16 losses and a 3.7 GPA.  “He was for real,” said Cliff Ramos, Maynard’s coach at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Ga. “Nobody took him lightly. And if they did, they regretted it.” He used his head and face like a battering ram and his arms like little clubs.  The opponents who felt sorry for him usually ended up bleeding and watching the referee raise Kyle’s arm after the match.

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He is the recipient of a 2004 ESPN Espy Award for the Best Athlete With A Disability and has been featured on many radio interviews, talk shows, and television programs. He has modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch. Currently he works as a speaker for the Washington Speaker’s Bureau, specializing in motivational speeches. He is also the author of the memoir No Excuses: The True Story of a Congenital Amputee Who Became a Champion in Wrestling and in Life.

No excuses to me,” Kyle says, “is just an attitude. It’s an attitude that says I can accomplish anything. No matter what it takes, I’m going to go out there and achieve my dreams. If I made an excuse early on in my life, I would have given up a lot of things. But I’m here with you today because I made no excuses.”

“I think God made me the way I am because now I have the opportunity to go out and speak and write this book. I have the opportunity to reach other people and tell them that anything’s possible as long as you carry this attitude with you.”

“He uses an electric razor to shave,” his mother Anita says, “an electric toothbrush to brush his teeth. He can put on his socks. The typewriting is what amazes me—he types 50 words a minute!”

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Kyle lifting 360 pounds ...like a badass

Kyle Maynard is attending the University of Georgia and continues to wrestle. Also, Kyle has recently began training in Mixed Martial Art.  Maynard has competed in wrestling and Brazilian jujitsu and is making an effort to compete in mixed martial arts. The Georgia State Athletic Commission has denied him permission and he’s looking elsewhere to follow his dream of competing in MMA.  There is an upcoming documentary on his story entitled A Fighting Chance.

You can watch Kyle Maynard wrestle here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdlajKhoj9k

Here are the source links about him are here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyle_Maynard and here: http://www.nordinho.net/vbull/book-reviews/22852-no-excuses-true-story-congenital-amputee-who-became-champion-wrestling.html and here: http://www.nhsca.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=169%3Awrestling-with-no-arms-or-legs&catid=38%3Aathletes&Itemid=101

Rudy Garcia-Tolson

Posted in Bad-ass Dudes on April 18, 2009 by badassmofos

Rudy_run

Rudy has turned one of the most brutal disadvantages in life—rare, multiple birth defects—into personal and athletic gold, banking inborn talent with powerful drive.  Born with leg-twisting Pterygium Syndrome, a clubfoot, a cleft lip and palate, and webbed fingers on both hands, he endured 15 surgeries before the age of 5. When six-months in a cage-like steel brace with pins in his bones failed to straighten one of his legs, his parents gave him a choice—continue with attempts to straighten his legs, or remove them both.  The 5-year-old Garcia-Tolson, a born athlete who was raring for a life of freedom and play, chose a bilateral amputation.  That’s right, at 5 years of age, he told them to “Cut them off.”

Within a few months, he was doing everything any exceptionally active five-year-old would do, and more.  With his prostheses, he climbed walls, trees, and rocks, went up and down stairs, and broke his new legs and feet so many times that his prosthetists started repairing them with bungee cords.

Rudy_swim

The loss of his legs marked the beginning of his life.  When Rudy was eight years old, he told the world he would swim in the 2004 Paralympic Games.  Probably a lot of people thought he couldn’t do it; however, being a true bad-ass, he was true to his word and brought home the Gold in the 200 Meter IM, while shattering the world record for his class.

By age 15, Rudy had 5 American swimming records, four national track records, completed six triathlons, carried an Olympic torch, and named one of People Magazine’s 20 teens that will change the world. Oh, and he’s buddies with movie star Robin Williams and has appeared on Oprah.  He freaking survived Oprah!

What Rudy does is spend six or seven hours a day in athletic training, routinely break world records in swimming, compete in triathlons, and tour the country as a motivational speaker to spread his message that “A Brave Heart is a Powerful Weapon.”  He’s also racked up a number of accolades including the Arete Courage in Sports Award, the Casey Martin Award from Nike, and the Spirit of da Vinci Award.

Rudy_climb

“Having no legs is really a gift,” says Rudy Garcia-Tolson. “If I wasn’t an amputee, I probably wouldn’t have the same drive to do what I do.”  A typical humble response from someone pumping ass-kicking blood through their veins.

So, if you’re missing a pinkie or some sh!t like that and you’re whining about it, then you are definitely not a bad-ass like Rudy Garcia-Tolson.  Think about him next time you walk out to get the mail.

Here are the source links about him here: http://www.oandp.com/articles/2008-11_19.asp and here: http://www.ossur.com/?PageID=3366#profile