Underdog Story of the Day - Kieran Behan

Underdog Story of the Day - Kieran Behan

Kieran Behan

At the age of 10, Kieran went through something that no human should ever have to endure. Doctors removed a cancerous tumor from his thigh, but that's not all; when he woke up from the operation, he was screaming in excruciating pain. Later, they found out that the surgery didn't go as planned, causing severe nerve damage in his leg.

Growing up, Kieran, a competitive gymnast, had big dreams of becoming an Olympic champion, but at the time it seemed that all hope was lost. Confined to a wheelchair, doctors were almost positive that he would never walk again, never mind become an Olympic champion.

After 15 months in a wheelchair, Kieran returned to the gym with a strong enthusiasm to prove people wrong. Just months after returning to the bars, Kieran slipped from the high bar and sustained a very severe head injury. Post head injury, he encountered frequent blackouts. The injury was so bad that he'd often blackout from just blinking. He missed a whole year of school, having to retrain his brain to think again. 

It took him three years to get back to where he had been before the life-changing accident. When it seemed as if nothing worse could possibly happen, Kieran suffered another blow, snapping his knee just after he had been selected for the European Championships. If there was a time to give up on a dream, most would've surrendered long before Kieran did. He told reporters that after this severe injury he finally contemplated giving up on his dream of becoming an Olympic champion.

He soon realized he came too far and went through far too much pain to not receive a reward. He continued on his journey and later became the Challenge World Cup floor champion in 2011 and his greatest moment came when he qualified for the 2012 London Olympics. Despite a seemingly impossible feat, Kieran fulfilled his dream to the best of his ability. It wasn't a gold medal but in the end, after all he went through, the feeling of never giving up gave him all of the glory he needed.

WATCH: Interview with Kieran Behan at the 2012 London Olympics


Although he didn't succeed in becoming an Olympic champion, he was told he would never walk again and he proved them wrong. Kieran's story can show us that regardless of the situation we are in we can change it. Whether it's overcoming severe injury, poverty, or any other crisis in our life, there is a way out. As Thomas Edison once said, "many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

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