AGT 2023: Disabled Athlete Zion Clark Inspires the Judges

America's Got Talent 2023 - Zion Clark
Pictured: Zion Clark — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Disabled Athlete Zion Clark inspires the America’s Got Talent judges with his determination and upbeat personality

Twenty-five year old Zion Clark from Canton, Ohio shares with the America’s Got Talent judges panel, in this early release audition clip, that he grew up in foster care.

With both parents incarcerated he was “thrown into the system the second I left the hospital.” Adding to his challenges, Zion was born with a rare condition called caudal regression syndrome. Consequently, Zion was born without legs.

“I was just thrown away,” he describes his foster care experience. “I was less than human is what I was treated like.” He adds, “I got scars all over my body to prove it.” Ultimately, Zion was able to “overcome these things” because he learned how to fight and wrestle. He lived in 13, 14 different homes before he turned 17.

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An adoption saved him from foster care and changed Zion’s life

Just before aging out of the system, a woman adopted Zion and took over his care. “I got adopted, everything fell into place,” he states. She was tough on him. For instance, she wouldn’t allow him to quit wrestling in school. He lost over 200 matches before he finally started winning. As a person who is overcoming huge challenges, He advises people to “learn how to fail.”

Zion wants to show the AGT audience what it’s like to have “no excuses” running through his body. His performance, which includes gymnastic and power lifting feats, demonstrates his strength and agility. A narration throughout the performance describes all of his accomplishments in the past few years, which include winning his first MMA fight and notching the Fastest Man on Two Feet record for Guinness Book of World Records. Additionally, Netflix did a short documentary in 2018 featuring Zion titled ZION which won two Emmys at the 40th Sports Emmy Awards.

“You’re going to make a difference. I applaud you,” says Simon Cowell

After Zion’s audition judge Heidi Klum says, “I’m so happy that you came to audition.” Both Heidi and Sofia Vergara call him “very very handsome.” Sofia also compliments his smile. “From the moment you arrive you look like you’re so happy.” Howie Mandel says, “We use the word amazing a lot. But I think it really applies to who you are.” He adds, “You are very very very important.” Simon Cowell says, “I am so happy you came on our show. You have such incredible personality. You define the word inspiration….this is what this show absolutely is all about–meeting talented people who you’re going to remember. You’re going to make a difference. I applaud you.”

Needless to say, the judges gave Zion four enthusiastic yeses.

America’s Got Talent auditions 8 airs on NBC Tuesday August 1 at 8 pm ET/PT.

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!