Florida teen goes from ‘Iron Man’ fame to gridiron star

Alex Pring recounts inspiring journey on Florida’s Fourth Estate

Alex Pring was born with one arm.

His other extends to his forearm and stops.

As he started growing up and going to school, he had some questions about his limb difference.

“I kinda asked the question, ‘Why can’t I have an arm? Everyone else has an arm, why don’t I,’” Pring said.

Watch News 6+ in the player below for live news and original programming:

He said his mom loves solving problems, so she reached out to the University of Central Florida and a student helped to create his very first arm.

Then, that student, Albert Manero, went on to launch Limbitless Solutions, a company that makes prosthetics for children.

Manero then upgraded Pring’s arm, giving it an “Iron Man” design, and invited Robert Downey Jr. to present it to him in 2015.

Find every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate on YouTube:

The moment went viral.

Pring said the experience, “was probably the biggest time for any 7-year-old possible.”

The first version of the arm helped him to hold a pencil, and the “Iron Man” arm helped him to build confidence, but because he is growing so fast, he said he needs to be resized regularly and sometimes he goes without his prosthetic.

That includes when he is doing football conditioning.

Pring said he power cleans 135 pounds with one arm.

Alex Pring power cleans 135 lbs. with one arm. (Alyson Pring)

He said his teammates at South Lake High School are often surprised at what he can pull off.

And, his opponents often underestimate him.

“In one of our games, the seniors told me all the players were trash-talking me saying, ‘There is no way this one-armed kid can do it.’ Next play, I destroyed the running back,” Pring said.

It’s not always easy, but he said he gets his confidence from his parents.

“They have taught me every single day of my life, work hard and you will be rewarded at the end of the day,” he said.

Pring said he would love to eventually play football professionally and that he looks up to Shaquem Griffin, the former University of Central Florida, football player who also has a limb difference and went on to play for the NFL.

But, if football doesn’t pan out, Pring said he would like to go UCF to pursue aerospace engineering, the same degree Manero pursued.

To learn more about Pring and how he is making an impact on and off the field check out Florida’s Fourth Estate.

You can watch it Monday and Friday afternoons on News 6 or anytime on News 6+.

You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below:

About the Authors:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.

Ginger Gadsden joined the News 6 team in June 2014 as an anchor/reporter. She currently co-anchors the 4 p.m. 5:30 p.m. and the 7 p.m. newscasts.