Kevin Michael Connolly is a champion skiier, adventurer and established photographer. He was also born without legs, but he's never let that stop him. Quite the opposite, in fact: Connolly is also now a published author. His new book, Double Take, is the story of life from his perspective, which he discussed on Weekend Edition Saturday.
Connolly was born with a rare birth defect called bilaterial amelia, which prevented his femurs from growing into his hip sockets. And although he refused to let it prevent him from living a normal life, he can't help but notice the stares. It became even more obvious on a trip across the globe, when he noticed people were not only staring, but coming up with culture-based explanations for his condition.
Courtesy of Kevin Michael Connolly
Champion skier and skateboarder Kevin Michael Connolly goes places most people wouldn't. And most people — unlike Connolly — have legs.
Champion skier and skateboarder Kevin Michael Connolly goes places most people wouldn't. And most people — unlike Connolly — have legs. Courtesy of Kevin Michael Connolly
In New Zealand, for example, a boy thought he'd been eaten by a shark. In Sarajevo, people thought he'd lost his legs in mines during the 1990s Balkan conflicts. In his Montana hometown, he said, "I had one guy in a pub ask me if I still wore my dog tags from Iraq."
One day, he decided to stare back — with his camera. He now has a whole series of stares from all over the world, which is the premise of his memoir. You can view more on his website or in this story.