One-Legged High School Wrestler Abandoned By Mother, Abused By Father, But Still Going Strong

It is hard to think of a life harder than Sam Leishman’s. In fact, hardship was something he experienced the second he came into this world. Born in Ethiopia, Sam had to have his leg amputated when he was a baby because he had an infection.

His mother later abandoned the family, and when Sam was seven years old, he ran away from home after his father threatened him with a knife.

Sam made his way to the United States and bounced around various foster homes and orphanages.

“I never really had a real childhood in my life” he told WMTW News 8. “I can’t really say I’ve had a childhood life since I was 3 years old. I’ve always had an adulthood life.”

Sam started wrestling when he was 10 after he heard about another wrestler with one leg. He feels that his life experiences have prepared him for the sport, which he describes as “the hardest sport you can ever do.”

“I feel like I have been through a lot of challenges, that I can push myself with my mind,” he said. “That I’m able to do what I can when I want to and how I want to.”

Despite all these troubles, Sam Leishman still finds the time to smile and freestyle rap, even though his coach doesn’t think he’s particularly good at it.


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