ZANESVILLE, OH- Success, hardship, and perseverance can be three key principles to a great story. What Kalon Ludvigson experienced, involves more than that. Ludvigson was a professional gymnast. “It was a huge adrenaline rush and I really loved being out there and showing off all the hard work that I had done in the gym,” said Ludvigson. That hard work turned into 20 world championship medals and plenty of success along the way. “Setting the world record was probably the biggest accomplishment to me,” Ludvigson stated with a smile.
Kalon is a world record holder and as of last Saturday, a new member of the USA gymnastics hall of fame. “It was a huge shock when I found out I was being inducted and to also receive the spirit of the flame award was another cherry on top,” said Ludvigson. The Spirit of the Flame award is gifted to an athlete who demonstrates leadership, strength and determination in an extraordinary way.
In August of 2013, Ludvigson was given a hurdle he has never dealt with. “I was in Pennsylvania and was getting ready to travel to two World Cup competitions in Portugal and Spain. We were actually training at a summer camp near Penn State. It was our last training session of the day around 9 o’clock at night and we were getting towards the end of my training session and kind of had a freak thing where I landed short. I ended up compressing my spinal chord and which ultimately resulted in the paralysis,” Ludvigson reflected.
After the injury Ludvigson is using his platform to inspire others. “Show people that no matter what kind of hard ships you might be facing, through hard work, dedication, and a good attitude that all things are possible. Really my injuries taught me a lot of patience,” said Ludvigson.
From patience to patients, Ludvigson is now a pharmacist at Genesis hospital in Zanesville. “I was always interested in working in healthcare. I was always interested in helping others and pharmacy was a great fit for me. I love chemistry. Luckily for me after my injury it was still something I would be able to continue to pursue. I’ve had a great experience working at genesis, I love my coworkers, I love my community. Anyways I can help others is something that I want,” Ludvigson said.
A world record holder, hall of fame gymnast, and current pharmacist. Kalon is doing what he loves, helping others.