Boy with rare crippling condition bests BU player in pushup contest

Published: May. 17, 2019 at 9:30 AM CDT
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A Central Texas boy with a rare crippling condition bested a Baylor baseball player in a pushup contest during the Shriner Challenge for Kids baseball game last weekend.

Scotty Cunningham, 11, of Hillsboro, was born with caudal regression, which impaired the development of the lower half of his body so his legs are permanently locked in place, but that didn't stop him from challenging Baylor outfielder and first baseman MacKenzie Mueller, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior from Abilene.

Because of his condition, Cunningham can’t do conventional pushups, with his legs extended, so the challenge involved more difficult handstand pushups, which Mueller found daunting.

“The handstand pushups that he was doing, I had to give it a try, but it was way too difficult for me,” Mueller said.

Cunningham, on the other hand, quickly whipped off 20.

“It was easy, it was a piece of cake,” Cunningham said.

Mueller wants a rematch.

“I hope he comes next year so I can challenge him again for another round of pushups,” he said.

Cunningham, for his part, is already training for round two, but he has a more ambitious goal.

He hopes to be fitted with bionic legs so he can follow in his father’s footsteps.

"I'm going to get robot legs so I can join the Army and be like my dad," Cunningham said.

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