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He suffered severe leg burns as a kid but that didn’t stop Cunningham from winning an Olympic medal


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Imagine being told as a child you may never be able to walk again and that you may have to spend the rest of your life as an amputee. Imagine going from there to winning a medal at the Olympic Games.

When he was eight years old, Glenn Cunningham saw his world come crashing down. In 1917, Cunningham nearly lost his legs after a fire accident in his hometown of Kansas. He saw his sibling Floyd die as a result of that incident and when Cunningham was admitted to the hospital, doctors suggested amputation because the burns were severe and spread of infection was feared.

However, overcoming adversity and all odds, Cunningham went on to become one of the greatest middle-distance runners of the 20th century.

Popularly known as the Iron Man of Kansas, Cunningham created several world records in the 1930s. He represented USA at two Olympics and clinched a silver medal at the 1936 edition.

The tragedy

Cummingham and his brother were in charge of heating the classroom at the Rolla Sunflower country school before the teachers and other students would arrive. But disaster struck one day when someone accidentally poured gasoline in the kerosene container and when the two brothers went to heat the coal stove, an explosion took...

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