Marlon Shirley was the first T44 class athlete to break the 11-second barrier in the 100 meters (10.97). Marlon has not only found a way to prevail, but he has also found a way to become a world class elite athlete and role model to all.
“Quality of Life” through fitness is something we all should strive for, yet being something everyone should have equal opportunity to get.
Feeling strongly that he wants to give back to the community, Marlon started the "Champions in Life" program. The goal of this mentorship program is to provide mentorship opportunities for children in underprivileged situations with focus on Foster Children and displaced children. Champions in Life also provides children with the opportunity to learn various life principles important to Marlon’s success as an athlete and a person. Such principles are Team Work, Goal Setting, Persevering, Dedication, Becoming a Role Model, and much more.
Marlon's vision on ÖssurActive
"Össur has deep roots supporting and encouraging the activities and desires of other amputees like myself and I wanted to implement a program that would give every amputee the resources to find their inner excellence in life. Many of the failures for amputees to gain or regain quality of life is the lack of accessible information, education and access to the role models from whom to learn from. I believe ÖssurActive can give every amputee access to years of education and experience from those who practice it every day and have make physical fitness a lifestyle”.
Marlon Shirley's story is all the more impressive because of what he's overcome. Abandoned by his birth mother at age 3, he lived on the street before he was adopted by a family in Utah at age 9. At age 5, while living in an orphanage, he fell under a lawnmower and lost his left foot. Still, he played high school football and competed successfully against able-bodied athletes in the high jump.
Early in Marlon's career he trained with Brian Hoddle, a well-renowned coach who took him under his wing. Within two years he went from third to first place and became a Paralympic gold medal winner.
Marlon's ability lies in his training and the Flex-Foot Cheetah® prosthesis he wears for sprinting. For daily activities, he wears a LP Vari-Flex® from Össur, because of the smooth heel to toe transition it affords him.
He articulately addresses corporate CEO's, has met the President of the United States, travels the world and serves as a role model to all. Marlon is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the United Nations' "Role Model of the 21st Century", two "ESPY" Awards and the "U.S. Olympic Spirit Award".
Team Össur: Marlon Shirley's Team Össur profile