By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The idea among successful athletes goes like this: The only limits on what you can accomplish are usually ones you place on yourself.

A man from Lakeville with one arm is showing people exactly what’s possible when you don’t put limits on yourself.

Josh Cinnamo is out practicing several hours a day every day.

He was born with only part of his right arm. But with his left, he’s the best in the world at what he does. He’s a shot put dynamo.

“I’m a pretty competitive guy. When you’re an adaptive athlete, you’re always searching for something to compete for,” he said.

And it doesn’t get much bigger than what Cinnamo is about to compete for. Next week, he’s going to London to compete in the World Para Athletics Championships in the shot put and discus events.

The 36-year-old Lakeville resident, the reigning world record-holder in his shot put classification, is one only 50 Americans to make it, and the only one from Minnesota.

“I’ll be honest, I don’t think about it a lot because I have so much training to do prior to leaving. It’s an unbelievable honor to be chosen for the team, it’s an unbelievable honor to be the world record-holder, but I don’t want to show up and not be able to compete at the highest level,” he said. “And when I go to London, there are two Chinese throwers that are not going to care one way or the other how I feel about it, they’re just going to give me their best. And that matters to me, and I want to go and beat them.”

In Cinnamo’s eyes — or maybe more accurately his muscles — it’s a big chance to show what you can do, even when life gives you challenges.

“Despite the wide spectrum of issues that we all have, you’ve just got to go out and chase the things that you care about the most. No matter what, you just got to go and do it, and chase it if it’s something that you really want,” he said. “When you put in work, strange things happen.”

And he’s definitely putting in work.


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