We all have the power to accomplish incredible things, no matter what life throws our way. This is certainly true for Claudiu Miu, a Romanian climbing champion who refused to let a Lyme disease diagnosis and associated arthritis stop him from pursuing his passion. Even young people with special needs can find success through perseverance and problem-solving, as Claudiu’s story shows. Through his experiences, he hopes to challenge the prevailing narrative of pity towards those with disabilities, advocating instead for appreciation and dignity. And just when you thought his story couldn’t get any more impressive, he recently teamed up with Jaggi, a young Indian lawyer also facing mobility challenges, to scale a towering 700-meter wall in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Claudiu’s unwavering determination serves as a powerful reminder that we are all capable of achieving remarkable feats, no matter how daunting the obstacles may seem.
What did you feel when you reached the top?
Gratitude. Satisfaction. Love. The same things I felt when I climbed before, but later were more present in my life. Everything was possibly due to many factors and events – the time when I was suffering because of my health situation, then when I was on my feet again and I started climbing, then the beginnings of my Association Climb Again and now the expedition in Morocco, supported by people who trusted us, me and Jaggi. It’s beautiful!
I know it’s gonna be a documentary about your expedition. When we’ll be able to see it?
The trailer is already done. Nora Dorian, our friend who video recorded us and photographed us in Morocco, is working on the documentary and it will probably be available at the end of the year, in December.
Are you willing to repeat this kind of expedition?
Yes. I wish we’ll do it again. I don’t know when or where, but we all want to do something special again for inspiring other people also and give them hope for more.
What’s your daily program when you’re home, in Bucharest?
Half of my activity is my work office and I’m coordinating several projects for Climb Again Association, and the other half I’m doing my regular training sessions.
What do you wish for the future?
I want to continue helping children with disabilities integrating them again through sport. Most of the work at the Association Climb Again is focused on bringing climbing closer to children and youth with special needs. Climbing it’s a sport that offers an opportunity for changing perspectives and developing self-confidence. Solving a problem and overcoming obstacles can lead to a successful story for young people with special needs also. We want to change the mentality of the others. Even if now the first thing that comes to people’s mind when they hear about persons with disabilities is mercy, I hope we’ll manage to change things a bit, so our young people be seen with dignity and appreciation. Everything that I experienced took me to the same conclusion: that in any situation we would be, we can do impressive, wonderful things. I believe that those who do not see may reach the top, and those who cannot hear can be champions too.
Thank you and congratulations!
Photo credit: Nora Dorian