One-Armed Mountain Climber Inspires Local Students

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PARMA, Ohio -- He's climbed one of the most dangerous mountains on the planet, and he did it all by using just one arm.

Now, Gary Guller is a motivational speaker who shared his inspirational story Thursday with local students.

"When I looked back, I saw my friend Dave came off the ice, and before I could actually jump on the ice with my ice ax to stop this fall he pulled me off," said Guller.

Guller is a world-famous mountain climber who critically injured his arm in that fall on Mount Everest; he later had the arm amputated.

Then in 2003, he became the first person with only one arm to reach Mount Everest's summit. He had feared he would never be able to scale a mountain again, but his disability didn't stop him from achieving his dream.

Now Guller is an example for students to follow.

"To give the kids inspiration to live their dreams, live their passion go for what they want to in the future and anything is indeed possible when you work together, we are gonna listen to our teachers, listen to our friends and families that anything is possible," he said.

Guller also led an expedition of 14 disabled climbers to the sixth highest mountain in Tibet.

"I've always been a firm believer that when people from all walks of life come together and understand and treat each other equally, as the Sherpas say 'look at somebody's heart first as opposed to what you just see on the outside,' and when we do that and when we do that from our own heart anything is possible indeed'," he said.

Guller visited Normandy High School in Parma to speak to the students, and they really seemed to appreciate his message.

"He really got me, like I really understood it, and I think that he tried saying that no matter how somebody looks on the outside they are always able to achieve something big in life," said one student.

"If I see that he can do something that powerful, then with two arms there are plenty of things I can accomplish makes me think of all the things I can do in my life," said Jacob Bakonyi, of Parma.

It was Guller’s second time visiting the high school.

On his last visit he spoke exclusively to teachers and staff.