Wilmington man with cerebral palsy breaks power curling records

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Rory Koonce Jr, of Wilmington, has cerebral palsy but that hasn?t stopped him from breaking state, national and world records for power curling. (WPVI)

When you think of the word strength, what comes to mind? Someone who can lift heavy objects? Someone who can overcome a heavy burden?

Rory Koonce Jr. is the picture of both.

"A lot of my strength is mental strength. I tell myself I'm gonna do it, so I do it," said Koonce Jr.

The Wilmington man holds the State, National, and World Records for Power Curling in three different weight classes. And he's the only person on record to do it from his wheelchair.

"They kinda try to box a person with a disability in, you can only do certain things and I don't believe in that. My mantra is the impossible is possible," said Koonce Jr.

Koonce Jr. was born at 26 weeks with cerebral palsy. He weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces.

Doctors said he wouldn't be able to see, speak, eat, walk, or use the left side of his body.

"He was in the NICU for 90 days and there was a lot of 'He's not gonna make it.' I said to the Lord, 'As long as he can hear me, speak to me, and see me, that's all I needed.' And he has surpassed that, by far," said Rhonda Cain.

"When I was little, I didn't realize I was disabled. I was always told there's nothing I can't do, so I did everything. So at a point, in my mind, it was how far can you push yourself," said Koonce Jr.

He has won back, to back, to back World Power Curling Championships.

He's also a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist.

And now he has taken up bodybuilding and will compete at the Gladiator Classic in Baltimore in March.

Koonce Jr.'s next venture is to open a holistic training center for disabled athletes. He says it'll be the first of its kind.

He's a man who, with each weight he lifts, holds the power to lift people's spirits and he knows it.

"The way I look at it, I weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces when I was born - I was near death already. I want to exhaust everything I can so that way when I go to rest, I know I did everything I was supposed to do and some more," he said.

Meanwhile, you can click here to help support Koonce Jr.'s Kickstarter campaign to help get him to Baltimore.
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