Tha Sports Junkies 101

HARLEY RACE: Road to Recovery

Harley Robb Zipp/ via Flickr


Harley Race

Harley Race is known as “one of the toughest men in professional wrestling history”. And he’ll need every drop of that legendary toughness to overcome his latest setback.

According to

Past few weeks ago 74-year-old, WWE Hall of Famer, Harley Race broke both his legs in a horrifying fall at his home in Troy, Missouri.

He broke both the fibula and tibia in his left leg and fractured his right femur. Race also sustained a spiral break of his left ankle.

He had emergency surgery to relieve the swelling in both legs late that night. And received four blood transfusions, and underwent another surgery next day to reset the fractures.


His son, Leland Race, told Bill Apter of that his father was transferred to a bigger hospital near the metro St. Louis area due to the complexity of the injuries he suffered in the fall.

Doctors operated on Race’s fractured right leg, but decided to let the left leg heal naturally. And begun the physical therapy stage of his recovery, and according to his son, has been improving “by leaps and bounds.”

“Nobody has said he’s never going to walk again or anything like that. I think they know him better than that. If there’s anybody in this world that can get through this stuff he’s going through, it’s going to be him,” Leland Race told Apter.

“He’s frustrated,” Race added. “He was doing so well and making progress. A couple of years ago he had to have surgery to fix some hardware in his back. That doctor, who didn’t know him, told him that a person in his shoes, with all the medical conditions he had been through his entire life, probably would never walk again.”

Harley Race’s response?

“He just kind of laughed it off and said, ‘We’ll see!”

“The King of Wrestling”

Harley Race debuted as a professional wrestler in 1960 and competed in the ring for more than three decades. In his career, he held multiple championships around the world so injury is a common thing for this legend.

His Life Long Injuries…

During his wrestling days, he had hip and knee replacements, multiple abdominal surgeries and vertebrae fused together, and a metal rod for a forearm.

He shattered one of Race’s forearms, and nearly lost his right leg in a car accident that claimed the life of his pregnant first wife.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene; only when Race moved slightly in the ambulance did medical personnel realize he had a pulse.

Before doctors about to amputate Race’s Right Leg, a local promoter stepped in and told them “over my dead body.”

The doctor told Race “he would never walk again”. But after months of intense physical therapy, he returned to the ring less than two years later. The doctor who operated on Race was at ringside to cheer him on.

Defying the Odds

Overcame polio as a child

Survived cancer

Anyone who knows the “tougher than 10$ steak” veteran, however, would never bet against him. He’s made a career out of defying the odds.

“It took him a while, but for the past five or six months he’s actually been walking a couple hundred feet at a time more than one time a day,” said Leland Race.

“He had been attending his local wrestling school every day and making most of his events, while tolerating the driving, even though that’s what he did for half a century.”

“He’s just really frustrated right now because he was doing so well,” added Race.

“Fortunately there are not too many things in this world that would be able to keep him down. This is going to be one of those situations where most people would probably just throw in the towel and go from there, but I don’t believe he’s going to be in that category. It’s just how he is and who he is. His motivation and attitude in life keep him going.”

Race, who won his first NWA world title in 1973, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and is a member of several national wrestling halls of fame.

Thasportsjunkies101 team would like to wish the Pro-Wrestling Toughest Legend Harley Race a speediest recovery.

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