WHAT: The final installment of Nike’s Unlimited campaign, starring Kyle Maynard, the first quadruple amputee to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro without using prosthetics.
WHO: Nike, Wieden+Kennedy Portland
WHY WE CARE: “Wait, what, you don’t have arms . . . but, you don’t have legs either!” Our newest favorite voiceover continues his light-hearted take on the unbelievable motivation and inspiration of elite athletes of all stripes–including America’s first transgender Olympian, an 86-year-old Iron Man nun, and a cavalcade of other superstars–with a mellow, mountainside chat with Maynard.
The 30-year-old was born in Washington, D.C. with a rare condition known as congenital amputation. According to Nike’s release on the spot, Maynard is also a competitive jiu-jitsu fighter, world record-setting weightlifter and mountaineer, who beyond the physical challenge of summiting Africa’s tallest peak, also had to design his own equipment. Now he uses an elite custom climbing system, but he initially wrapped towels around the end of his arms, securing them with tape.
“If you’re doing something first, you don’t have that path laid out for you so you just have to go and figure it out,” Maynard said in a statement. “You learn how to use your mind. You learn: How do I not fall apart when I have something bad happen to me? How do I get through and overcome bigger challenges? How do I adapt? The lessons that you learn in your sport can transcend into every area of your life, in your relationships and in just any dream that you have.”
Maynard has also been profiled by ESPN, but something this spot manages to do is distill many of our own reactions to his condition and awe at his accomplishments within one silly voiceover.