From Cerebral Palsy to Olympian: How This Athlete Beat the Odds

Nick Mayhugh, a world-class athlete in USANA's "Winner's Circle," is showing you how he fuels his body and ambition.

From Cerebral Palsy to Olympian: How This Athlete Beat the Odds


Nick Mayhugh grew up playing soccer like most American kids do. But unlike most kids, he had the elite skills to match his deep passion. He perfected his play, practiced into the nights and dedicated his young life to the sport. For him, that meant secretly compensating for physical effects he was told were normal growing pains but that he knew weren't, like numbness on the left side of his body. So he pushed harder than the others, learning to play with just his right limbs and teaching himself to walk without a limp.


He needed to prove himself.

He went on to play at the top of his league and entered the U.S. Youth Soccer's Olympic Development Program, which recruits young players to prepare them for a life at the highest caliber of the game. And at just 13, he joined the D.C. United professional team to train as a developmental player.

Then, at a peak in his young career, everything he suspected was wrong with him as a kid was confirmed.

That year, in 2010, Nick suffered a seizure, biting through both sides of his tongue and being rushed to the hospital for brain scans. Doctors and his family finally had the words to put to what he had been experiencing his whole life. The scans showed that his brain had a dead spot on its ride side — indicating he had a stroke while in his mother's womb. And this led to a heavy diagnosis.

Nick had cerebral palsy. He was told he would never play soccer again.

So he just pushed harder, like he had his whole life. He had to prove himself.

Beating the odds, Nick played collegiate soccer for four years and then earned a jersey with the U.S. Paralympic team and played tournaments around the world. He became the U.S. Soccer Player of the Year With a Disability in 2018 and 2019.

With the Tokyo Paralympics in his sights, Nick faced another hurdle when his beloved sport wasn't included in the lineup. But when you're as skilled and dedicated as Nick, not even that can stop you. He's now training to compete in Track & Field for the U.S. If history is any indication of how Nick will perform, he'll be proving his place in that sport too.

Nick is a member of USANA's "Winner's Circle," a group of high-performance athletes who prioritize every aspect of their health to be the best in their game — while also managing their personal lives as parents, children, siblings, and friends. Nick wants to motivate you — and show you how — to live your best life.

Watch Nick's full video above to see how he fuels himself to rise above his limitations.



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