Army veteran becomes first amputee to complete a USPA Powerlifting competition

A US Army veteran who lost his leg during his second tour in Afghanistan has become the first amputee to complete a full US Powerlifting Association meet.

KC Mitchell -who was left without a leg after an IED ambush in 2010- successfully completed a USPA meet in the non-adaptive open division of the 110kg weight class, living up to his moniker of “That 1 Leg Monster.”  Taking place on January 7 of this year, Mitchell became the first ever amputee to compete in a full meet.

According to Barbend, Mitchell pulled of an impressive 435 lb squat, 424 lb bench, and 600 lb deadlift- a total of 1,460 lb.

After an IED ambush led to the 2010 amputation of his leg, Mitchell was hardly the powerhouse of confidence he is today. Left disfigured and (honorably) cast from military service, Mitchell spiralled into depression, shutting himself in and popping painkillers.

“I was just using them to put myself into a whole other place because I was so depressed,” he admitted in a previous interview with Flex.

It wasn’t until the effect of the painkillers ruined his daughter’s birthday trip to Disneyland that he realized something needed to change.

“The next thing you know I was walking around high as a kite. It ruined the whole trip,” Mitchell said. “I looked at my wife and said, ‘I’m sorry… I’m going to fix this.’ As soon as I got home, I went to my medicine cabinet and dumped every pain pill that I had down the toilet.”

Since that day, Mitchell began rigorous training, eventually becoming the intense powerlifter he is today.

Although the road has been a difficult one, Mitchell has risen to the challenge, no doubt proving to be an inspiration for the abled -and disabled- the world over.

“Once my daughter is married, my last name is gone,” Mitchell said, explaining that his ordeal left him unable to procreate. “When I pass away, I want [my daughter] to get online and show my grandkids, ‘Look at Grandpa. He was a crazy SOB…He went through the worst things ever and he overcame.’ That’s my goal. I’d rather be crushed by hundreds of pounds than not know what I’m capable of.”

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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