Prosthetic leg brings Elliott Crimp a step closer to CrossFit glory


Fifteen-year-old Elliott Crimp (Te Arawa, Ngāti Kahungunu) was diagnosed with meningococcal disease when he was three, a diagnosis which spawned numerous visits to Starship Hospital.

“It’s all blurry. I was always going in and out of hospital and up and down from Rotorua to Auckland where I would get my surgery and check-ups done. I’d always have trouble with the leg that was amputated”.

“It was pretty life changing. Different having to wake up every morning and instead of just being able to walk somewhere I had to put on a leg” he said.

His leg was amputated when he was eight and, since his diagnosis, he has undergone more than 100 surgical procedures.

His amputation created a whole raft of problems. He says a small injury on the now amputated leg would cause bigger problems for him.

Ironically, he said having his leg amputated had given him more options.

“I could do more stuff with my friends, I wasn’t limited to a wheelchair, so they were excited for me that I could walk around and do stuff that I couldn’t do before,” he said.

During the Covid-19 lockdown in 2021 he he gained weight, and with his mum being a keen CrossFit goer, he wanted to get into the action and join in as well.

“I started doing CrossFit movements, and then I started doing the classes that she would normally do and then started losing more and more weight,” he said.

“I feel the adrenaline when at CrossFit because I know it’s something that not everyone can do”.

He has already competed in novice competitions with his older brother Angus but has his sights set overseas.

“I’d like to do some national and international CrossFit comps by myself.”

Elliott’s new blade was made possible by funding from the Starship Foundation and their partner Barfoot & Thompson.

“Corporate philanthropy makes a big difference in the lives of Starship patients and their whānau. We’re incredibly grateful to our partner Barfoot & Thompson for their critical support of young amputees like Elliott, helping to set them up for a brighter future,” says Starship Foundation CEO, Joanna Simon.

He said the new leg had made a difference and, asked what message he had for people in a similar situation, he urged anyone to “go for it”.

“I’ve found something that I really enjoy. If you never try than you will never find out what you’re wanting to do.”