Runner and bodybuilder born without legs shows anything is possible
Tatsiana Khvitsko experienced the devastating effects of radiation poisoning, even though she was born four years after the Chernobyl disaster.
The Belarus-born woman was born without legs and several fingers, but she's found her place as a competitive bodybuilder and runner... and she's absolutely dominating.
Khvitsko was 6 when she was flown to the United States to be fitted with prosthetic limbs and eventually made Kansas City her home in 2008. "People would treat you differently in Belarus. I wasn't allowed to wear skirts or dresses that showed my prosthetic legs. Here in Kansas, no one cares," she told Barcroft Media of why she loves the States.
Soon after, a Florida company fitted her with a pair of running legs, or "blades," as she calls them.
"The moment I put on my blades, I felt like I was flying," said Khvitsko, who has since run several marathons and 5K races.
She's now on to a new challenge: CrossFit and competitive bodybuilding. "Sometimes there are times in my gym where I'll do a workout and I feel frustrated because I have to take time to do the exercises," she admitted, adding that she makes modifications to exercises like squats so she doesn't injure herself. "I have to try to figure out how to do the moves when the able-bodies are doing the workout fine. But I'm exploring my disability and realizing what I can and can't do."
Like everyone, the badass blonde has her days when she wishes she wasn't different and could wear heels, but she's showing others that limitations are only in your mind.
"I'm so strong physically and mentally and emotionally, and I think it's because of my disability," she said.