Incredible Athletes with Brachial Plexus Palsy

Harold Vincent Connolly

  • Nickname: Hal
  • Date of Birth: August 1, 1931
  • Date of Death: August 18, 2010
  • Personal Best: 71.26 meters (223’9″) on June 20, 1965
  • Athletic Accomplishments:
    • 1956 Olympic Gold Medalist
    • Four-time Olympian (1956, 1960, 1964, 1968)
    • Six-time World Record Holder. Held the world record without interruption from 1956 to 1965.

Harold Vincent Connolly, Jr. was born in Somerville, Massachusetts in 1931 to working-class Irish-American parents.  At twelve-and-a-half pounds, he set the record for the heaviest baby born at Somerville Hospital.  His size caused his left shoulder to be dislocated at birth, crushing his brachial plexus nerves.   He struggled with the injury throughout his childhood, fracturing his left arm thirteen times.   By adulthood, he had a left arm that four-and-a-half inches shorter than his right and a left hand two-thirds the size of his right.

Determination, Drive and not take no for an answer, that’s what breeds success.

To learn more of this story on determination

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