Rohan Murphy is not your ordinary athlete.
Murphy, 27, was born with deformed legs, and at age four his birth defect forced doctors to amputate them. His doctors told his family that he would never be able to take care of himself, but over time he proved them wrong.
Now a motivational speaker, Murphy, is coming to Three Village to give a speech to all wrestlers in grades Kindergarden through 12th and their families at Ward Melville High School on Tuesday Nov. 15. The free event is sponsored by the Patriot Wrestling Booster Club and will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the gymnasium.
Murphy refused to use his disability as an excuse, and began wrestling his freshman year of high school on the East Islip wrestling team. He later continued his career at Penn State University. He participated in Paralympic weightlifting events and in May of 2006 won a Bronze medal in the IPC World Powerlifting Championships.
Murphy’s accomplishments gained attention from the media and he has been featured in publications such as NBC News, ABC News’ 20/20, Sports Illustrated and Newsday. He was also featured in Nike’s “No Excuses” campaign, intended to motivate people to create work out plans and live a healthy lifestyle.
"I want the kids to realize that everyone has to overcome a type of adversity to be successful in life," Murphy said. "And if you truly want to be great at something, you have to dedicate yourself to it."
Murphy is currently training for the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games and is a candidate for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year campaign, which is a fundraising competition.
In addition to being an athlete, he said is fulfilling his dream of being a professional youth motivational speaker. Traveling from school to school, he speaks on a variety of subjects such as overcoming adversity, discipline and dedication.
Murphy has also founded Catchspark.com to communicate and inspire people all over the world through an online community.