Boise veteran brings home title of 'World's Strongest Disabled Man'

(Courtesy: Ben Taylor)

March 30, 2010 was a day that altered Nickolas Edinger's life forever.

Edinger is a veteran. And that day, he says his army troop had surrounded a town in Afghanistan where they knew someone was making bombs.

"Apparently there was more than just a bomb maker there," Nickolas said. "There were bombs all around the town. People started getting blown up."

Edinger's staff sergeant stepped on one of those bombs but it didn't go off. Soldiers from his group were able to detonate it, however, there were other bombs that were very much active.

As he went to take a step towards his superior, he stepped on a different bomb and it exploded, taking off a portion of his leg below the knee.

"I was angry and I just managed to channel it," Nickolas said. "I thought to myself, 'if I let this stop me from living the life that I want the guy who put that bomb in the ground beats me.'"

Determined to make something of his situation, Edinger turned to lifting weights.

When he was a child, his mother used to bring him to the gym to watch TV while she worked out. So lifting became a pastime that evolved from their time together.

"The TV I was watching shuttered and shut off so I walked around the corner," Nickolas recalled. "I saw this big, older guy. He was doing deadlifts with like 700 lbs and I was just like 'whoa.'"

He competed in the America's Strongest Adaptive Athlete event in June in Ohio. After he won that event, he then flew to the United Kingdom to claim the World's Strongest Disabled Man title as well. This was a heavy challenge that is broken down into six events.

"The overall standings of it, I got fifth in the truck pull because I was actually the lightest person there," Nickolas said. "Then I got first in the log and first in the yolk. I got second in the deadlift. I got first in the dumbbell and the atlas stones."

Now that Edinger has claimed both America's and the World's Strongest Disabled Man titles, he hopes to conquer the world of Crossfit while continuing to be an inspiration to others.

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