Nick Santonastasso Profile

  • Born with a rare genetic condition that left him with no legs and one arm, Nick Santonastasso has defied the odds time and time again, carving out careers as a high school athlete, bodybuilder, and fitness model.

  • Nick rose to fame with a series of entertaining and inspirational videos, gaining a massive social media following that includes A-list stars like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Tony Robbins, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

  • A high-energy speaker who will rock the audience, Nick's insights on making dreams happen have empowered a wide range of groups from schools to Fortune 500s.
  • Nick Santonastasso is a medical miracle. Not only is he one of four people alive with the rare genetic condition, Hanhart Syndrome, the inspirational keynote speaker is an internationally known bodybuilder and fitness model – despite missing both his legs and one arm since birth. The high-energy youth shares his amazing story, showing people that anyone can thrive if they have the determination and willpower to go after what they want.

    When Nick was born, the doctors handed his parents a long list of things that he would never be able to do.” Nick’s parents politely thanked them and threw the list out. They raised Nick the same way they had raised his three able-bodied older siblings and instilled in him never to let the world tell him what he could or couldn’t do.

    Nick tried out various sports before finding a passion for wrestling. As a varsity wrestler in his high school, he may not have been the district champion, but he did pack gyms and earn the respect of thousands of total strangers. At the same time, he rose to “Vine” stardom, with a series of zombie prank videos. His social media stardom has since outlived Vine: Santonastasso has shared his life and thoughts on acceptance, positivity, and pushing your limits with millions, gaining the admiration of A-List Celebrities, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tony Robbins, and Gary Vaynerchuk. He also partnered with Fox International to promote The Walking Dead via an epic prank on one of the show’s most popular actors, Norman Reedus.

    Recently, Nick’s accomplishments in the gym and the area of competitive bodybuilding have been featured in Men’s Health, The Independent, and CNN’s Great Big Story. However, lifting weights is just the surface of Nick’s mission. A powerful keynote speaker, Nick’s passion for helping others shines through as he takes his message of gratitude, tolerance, and overcoming difficulties to schools, universities, and Fortune 500’s.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Nick Santonastasso is constantly defying the odds. Despite being born with no legs and one arm, Nick is a bodybuilder, internationally known public speaker and internet sensation.

      When Nick was conceived, he had a 30% chance of surviving birth. He was 1 of 12 people in the world at the time who was born with Hanhart Syndrom, a rare genetic disorder. Nick was self-loathing and thought about ending his life. Fortunately, he was able to find his “WHY” through wrestling in high school. He had to AMPUTATE a part of his arm in order to wrestle. Though Nick was not the best wrestler, he would pack tournaments with spectators. People would approach him with tears of joy and excitement and say how much he inspired them, an experience that became a turning point for Nick and his life.

      Nick realized he was capable of achieving anything he set his sights on. He has continued to aim higher and higher, knowing that every day he lives is considered a medical miracle. He has made cameos on TV shows like “The Walking Dead” and has become a social media sensation gaining more than 1 million followers on “Vine” in less than a year. Most recently Nick decided to become a competitive bodybuilder, showing he can achieve physical greatness. In 2017, he won the 3rd place in the “men’s physique novice” category, in his first competition at the “Iron Bay Classic” where he competed against abled-bodied people.

      Now, Nick is sharing his experience with people all over the world as a keynote speaker at schools, universities, nonprofits as well as Fortune 500 companies. He is using his challenges to inspire others to push beyond their suffering and live a life that has NO LIMITS. Nick has already helped to inspire GIANTS in today’s world, such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tony Robbins, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

    Nick Santonastasso Speaking Videos

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    Nick Santonastasso's Speech Descriptions

    Nick’s extraordinary keynotes encompass these universally relevant themes:

    Self-Empowerment and Overcoming Adversity
    Nick is living proof that no matter what life has dealt you, you can still take charge and play your hand to the best of your ability.

    Sharing his remarkable life story, he shows you how some of your biggest challenges can become your biggest breakthroughs. Even in your most dire moments when you feel like you can’t go on, YOU have the power to improve yourself, learn new skills, and tackle your greatest struggles. Whether you want to boost your sales skills, get in shape, live a happy life, or be a great parent, YOU have the power of choice to acquire those skills.

    Meeting Your Goals
    When Nick decided to become a bodybuilder, there was no special guide written for people “born with no legs and one arm” on how to get in shape. He didn’t know how he was going to do it nor how long it would take, but he did have confidence in his ability to learn what he needed to meet his goal. His remarkable journey will motivate you to see your goals through, reminding you that the only limits you have are the ones you put on yourself.


    There will always be people who say you “can’t” do something. When Nick decided to become a wrestler in high school, people laughed at him asking him how he was going to become a wrestler with only one arm and no legs. His response: he set the bar higher and became a varsity wrestler who packed auditoriums and inspired thousands of complete strangers.

    This story is just one example of Nick’s attitude on life, or as he puts it: “The biggest motivational speech that you can give me, is telling me that I can’t do something.”

    Nick Santonastasso can tailor his message and presentation to suit the needs of your company. Here are just a few examples of the topics Nick speaks on in the corporate sector:

    -Building confidence
    -Turning failure into a friend
    -Sound mind, sound body
    -Living in the state of gratitude
    -Goal Setting
    -The power of focus
    -Annihilate excuses
    -Self Love

    Nick Santonastasso on Speaking

    Embrace the hard times when things don’t go the way
    you wanted or a business plan fell through, because our problems and
    challenges turn into gifts when we learn from them.

    SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn/take away from your presentations?

    SANTONASTASSO: I want people to realize that the biggest disability you can have is a bad
    mindset. The way we think and how we think is what the majority of the world is really struggling with: the fears, the story that you replay to yourself over and over to justify why you “can’t”
    do what you want.

    I want to show them that, yes, we all have problems and negative things going on in our lives, but we have two choices: we can either focus on the bad in our lives and let the outside noise drive us, or focus on the good.

    I also want people to take away how important it is to live in a state of gratitude on a daily basis. In the grand scheme of things, our problems aren’t really problems, but experiences that sculpt us. Embrace the hard times when things don’t go the way
    you wanted or a business plan fell through, because our problems and
    challenges turn into gifts when we learn from them. We can extract a positive from every
    situation, but we need to be looking for the good rather than be blinded by the bad.

    SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

    SANTONASTASSO: The most important and crucial thing we do before an engagement is figuring out what
    the audience is going through. What are some of the challenges they’re facing? We always want each and every person to feel like I’m talking directly to them.

    The morning of an engagement, I start my day off with gratitude like I always do. I fill myself up with as much energy, love and excitement as I can, so I can transmit that to the audience. I like to think of myself as a lantern; I need to fill myself up with the right emotions and energy to fuel my light so that I can guide others.

    As long as I help change one life in the crowd, I’m winning.

    SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

    SANTONASTASSO: About a month ago, I had my first-ever speaking engagement where both my parents were in attendance. My father had never seen me speak live and my mom hadn’t seen me speak live in over a year. I had progressed so much in a short time, so I was excited for them to see the
    man I’m sculpting myself into.

    At another event in New Orleans, I was getting off the stage when a grown man came running up to me balling his eyes out, hugging me and thanking me. I found out that he had a disabled son and everything I said hit home with this man. It reminded me that as long as I help change one life in the crowd, I’m winning.

    Lastly, I was in Alaska speaking to about 50 models from the ages of 6-18, as well as their parents. When I got to the topic of “doing it for the people who can’t”, as in the kids and adults confined to hospital beds and wheelchairs, a mom stood up and ran out of the room crying. It turned out that she has a daughter who can’t talk or walk, but the incredible love she has for her embodies that value of “doing it for those who can’t.”

    SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

    SANTONASTASSO: A variety of audiences: athletes and sports teams,
    business owners and their sales teams, MLM groups, conference hosts on leadership,
    entrepreneurship, motivation, non-profits, youth organizations, etc.

    SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

    SANTONASTASSO: I love talking about mindset, breaking down the barriers, the power and future of social media, the
    importance of building good relationships, and leadership. These are my favorite topics because
    I can connect with the majority of people by sharing my own personal stories.

    SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

    SANTONASTASSO: I would tell my story to intimate groups like friends and other people who asked about it,
    and the reactions were always positive. At first, it was hard to grasp that my story and the things I’ve
    been through could help people in such a drastic way.

    My eyes truly opened up to my full potential when I met Ratmir, who is now my best friend
    and manager. He believed 110% in me and my abilities to take the speaking to a bigger scale.
    He pushed me and showed me that the way I live my life and the mindset that I’ve cultivated can impact millions.

    I always add in a few jokes on the fly to keep them on the emotional rollercoaster, from the laughs to the crying, and right back to the smiles, spiking their energy in all aspects.

    SPEAKING.COM: How do you keep your audience engaged and actively listening during your keynotes? Do you use case studies, personal stories and/or in your speeches?

    SANTONASTASSO: During my speech I use a lot of personal stories that wrap around and relate to the audience. I get
    people thinking by asking questions that make them self-reflect while they are sitting there in the program.
    Often, I put them through a gratitude exercise that allows them to calm their mind, break down their mental barriers, and release their emotions.

    I always add in a few jokes on the fly to keep them on the emotional rollercoaster, from the laughs to the crying, and right back to the smiles, spiking their energy in all aspects. Finally, I end with a Q & A to get personal with those who want to participate.

    SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients achieve?

    SANTONASTASSO: I have helped a variety of different people. I have worked with business owners who had problems within their organization, such as whining, complaining, employees not following through, and also struggling with a lack of belief in themselves. No matter what the owner told them, it did not seem to work, so I simply helped communicate the message that they’d been trying to get across, but in my own unique way. We’ve followed up with our clients and overall, they’ve seen increases in sales and boosts in employee morale.

    In other areas, I’ve worked with kids and adults who are going through serious health and life challenges to show them that there is always someone out there who would trade places with them in the heartbeat. It all goes back to the power of perspective.

    More than anything though, I help audience members instill belief in themselves, by showing what a 21-year-old with no legs and one arm has been able to accomplish in a short period of time. Exclusive Interview with Nick Santonastasso
    Building the Life You Want with Inspirational Speaker Nick Santonastasso
    In this exclusive interview, inspirational and motivational speaker, Nick Santonastasso discusses:
    • Living life on his terms despite being born with no legs and just one arm.
    • How he overcame depression by building the athletic career he wanted.
    • What you can do to build confidence.
    • How to find your "WHY."
    Read the Full Interview

    "As I got older, my parents would sit me down and tell me 'Nick the world isn’t going to stop for you because you were born like this. You are going to have to figure out how to do things Nick’s way.' They instilled their same beliefs in me telling me that, 'The only person that can dictate your abilities and potential is you.' "
    - Nick Santonastasso

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