When Heinrich Popow was just nine years old, doctors amputated his leg after discovering a form of bone cancer developing in his left fibula. Far from deterred, the sport-loving youngster began his track and field career in 2001.
“After my amputation, I lost my legs but I have never lost my passion for living my life. And after my amputation I thought I have all the bad stuff behind me but you know what, teenagers, kids they are honest they are the heart and they used my weakness to make themselves stronger; this was a situation I have really struggled a lot. I struggled more being a child and being a teenager than having cancer and losing my leg. Then, I used sports rehabilitation. I knew that sports has nothing to do with having two legs or one leg. Sports is something to do with being the best player or being a worse player. I started to turn my disability to ability,” he said in this Ted talk video.
Eventually, he went on to win 27 medals at the Paralympic Games, World and European Championships. “Yes, I have one leg but I remember the good things about that, not remember just bad things. I have put my efforts into creating my own tomorrow because you know what, the situation doesn’t look like the way people think about it,” he said.