5 most extraordinary people of all time who have turned their disabilities into their greatest abilities

The world has witnessed some of the greatest achievements in different fields by both men and women. But an achievement is even more appreciated if it is achieved by someone with physical disabilities. Here are a few of the well known personalities of the world, who did extra-ordinary things, without letting their physical disabilities to hinder in their paths.

Stephen Hawking

stephen hawking

After Einstein, Stephen Hawking is considered as the greatest scientist of the twentieth century. His big bang theory and black hole theory have caught the attention of the world. Stephen Hawking is almost paralyzed, yet he is teaching through a computer supported machine by which his words are compiled. Stephen Hawking is the well known author of the famous book – ‘A Brief History of Time’. Hawking has a rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, that has gradually paralyzed him over the decades. But his physical disabilities could not make him stop form his research

Marla Runyan

marla runyan

Marla Runyan represented the United States in the 1500 metre track event at the 2000 Olympics. She is a three-time national champion in the women’s 5000 metres. But Marla Runyan is legally blind. She has Stargardt disease. This is a condition that leaves her with a limited ability to see what is in front of her. In 1996, Marla set several track and field records at the Paralympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Following that success, Marla Runyan wanted to compete in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. In Sydney Olympics, Marla Runyan became the first legally blind athlete to compete in an Olympics.

Tanni Grey-Thompson

tanni grey thompson

Tanni Grey-Thompson is one of the most famous physically challenged athlete. Tanni Grey competed in the Paralympic Games since 1988. She represented Britain at distances ranging from 100m to 800m. Tanni won fourteen Paralympic medals, including nine golds, and has broken over twenty world records. She was also the winner of five London marathons – in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2001. Tanni Grey-Thompson has established herself as a TV presenter in recent years.

Marlee Matlin

marlee matlin

Marlee Matlin is an Academy Award winner. This well known actress is deaf since she was 18 months old. Some of her films are – A Dead Silence, My Party,A Hear No Evil, A Bridge to Silence, A Walker, and Children of A Lesser God. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a leading role in the film  Children of a Lesser God, in 1987. Marlee Matlin is the only deaf performer to win the Academy Award.  Matlin became deaf in infancy due to Roseola infantum.

Ludwig van Beethoven

ludwig van beethoven

Beethoven is the greatest German composer and musician who was deaf at the later part of his life.  He is a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music. Beethoven is still considered as one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 1 violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis and an opera, Fidelio. Beethoven’s hearing began to deteriorate in his early 20’s and by the last decade of his life he was almost totally deaf. Though he gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose. Most importantly, many of his most admired works come from the last 15 years of his life.

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