At 23 years old, Kyle Landi is already a trailblazer. With more than 300,000 followers on TikTok, the Canadian bodybuilder with Down syndrome is inspiring the masses to pursue their dreams.
Landi, who was born premature and with a congenital heart defect, has been documenting his journey on social media.
The Milton, Ont., native trains for three to six hours daily. His love for fitness started early, thanks in large part to his mother.
Kimberly Murphy tells Global News it was important to her to immerse her son in a variety of activities early on.
“Whether it was dance, or gymnastics, or swimming, or weightlifting. We tried a little bit of everything,” she told Global News. “Just because they have a disability doesn’t mean they don’t have an ability in something.”
Landi’s passion for bodybuilding was ignited during a trip to Las Vegas with his stepfather. The two were in town for the Olympia Fitness & Performance Expo, held annually in Sin City.
“They were doing a chin-up contest,” recalled his stepfather Joseph Dominie. “He said ‘Should I?’ and I said, ‘Should you what?’ (He said) ‘You know, go there and whoop some butt.’ I said, ‘Sure, but only if you rip your shirt off.’”
Dominie said before he knew it, his stepson was grasping the bar, doing chin-ups for over a minute straight.
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Proud and beaming over Landi’s determination, he recorded the moment with the sole intention of sharing the video with his wife.
When the bodybuilder decided to launch his own TikTok account, it was the first video he uploaded. Since then, he’s been documenting his progress digitally for the world to follow along.
Earlier this year, he competed in his first bodybuilding competition.
“He comes in, headphones on and says ‘Hi! Hi!’ and then he’s straight to the gym,” said Antwane Hamlett, an elite coach at PURE Muscle + Fitness in Burlington, Ont., where Landi trains regularly.
“He loves it. And for me, there should be no excuse for anyone not to go for what they want in life, no matter what it is,” he added.
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