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Eli Bowen, the Legless Acrobat, was a native of Ohio and the only physically abnormal child in a family of ten children. His condition, phocomelia or "seal limbs", manifested itself in such a way that his feet protruded directly from his pelvis without any of the bones that would normally make up a leg. Bowen learned to walk on his arms using wooden blocks to provide ground clearance for his hips. The tremendous strength he developed in his arms and chest allowed him to perform all manner of climbing and tumbling stunts.
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