This one-legged 18-year-old from Andes, Colombia hopes to become a BMX rider despite all the difficulties faced by him.
Julian Molina has always been an energetic child, who loved to skate in his neighborhood with his friends. Until one day, when the seven-year-old fluff of thrill got hit by a bus where he nearly lost his life. The accident left him with a crushed left foot.
Unfortunately, the complicated injury turned into gangrene and the doctors had to cut off his leg.
But, even the traumatic weeks in hospital didn’t dull his spark. The extreme sports fan’s positive outlook on life returned soon after stepping out of the hospital.
Julian said: “When I left the hospital I felt happy. I wasn’t getting more of those crazy meals, no sugar, all salty. However, I felt a bit sad because the doctors were treating me really well.”
“I didn’t feel a huge loss in my body.”
Upon discharging from the hospital, the youngster was encouraged by his parents, Ruben and Dalila, to continue to be himself and pursue his dream of becoming a BMX rider.
His father, Ruben, a local shoemaker, ensured that Julian maintained his positive attitude after leaving the hospital. He has since continued to encourage Julian to strive for better.
Ruben said: “When we left the hospital, I remember that he, despite being young, took it quite naturally like: ‘I know I lost my foot so let’s keep going forward.’ He continued studying as if nothing had happened.”
“After the accident, I kept telling him to keep going, not to panic and keep going.”
Supported by his parents, 13-year-old Julian saved the money he made from selling chewing gums by the road to buy a bicycle. He knew he had to do it for himself as everyone in his family is independent.
Soon, Julian was becoming well-known for his incredible skills locally. Eventually, he was invited to appear at some events in the US. In a short period of time, he had mastered the technique.
This response empowered him to focus on his hobby as a profession. Now, he wanted to bring his love of BMX home.
He said: “The dream that I have is to have my own BMX store here in Andes in a park so that people could have a ride. I’ve always had this crazy dream of having my store, my brand. That’s what I’m currently working on.”
Now, the 18-year-old spends his days perfecting tricks, such as the decade and 360 one hander, proving he has come a long way since losing his leg.
Following his obsession, some his friends have dug out their own dirt track in their hometown for the local children to use.
Unlike, the cemented skate parks that most BMX enthusiasts are used to, the DIY track is composed of mounds of mud. It is shaped into jumps and lined with plastic sheets to help soften the impact for the riders.
Julian’s friend and skate buddy, Danny Gallego, said: “I feel proud of him because without a leg he is doing an extreme sport. He does things that I can’t do. Even though, I have both my legs. He’s a perfect sports guy for me.”
The lively BMX rider hopes his story would inspire everyone to follow their dreams, no matter what the circumstances.
He quoted Mahatma Gandhi: “Power doesn’t come from the body, but from the soul. It’s beautiful what he’s saying because everything depends on our own will. If we want to do something, we do it because we want it and we believe it will be this way.”