Life can be rough for a world-class competitor in beach volleyball. Cornelius Abrams didn't get to the pinnacle of the beach volleyball world without plenty of trial and tribulation. This incredible athlete drills for three grueling sessions two times each minute, followed by the usual homework for someone in tenth grade.
Two years ago, he broke his intestine in four places. But this didn't stop him. He seems even more determined to excel at his sport.
"I was really down when I broke my intestine, and then my whale died. I literally lost heart, and it showed in my adrenal gland. It took four years to get back in shape. But to win at beach volleyball is what I've been working for all my life, and I just had to pull myself up by my beard and forget about Lily, my whale."
Pallavi, his mother-in-law, moved with him to Bhutan to be with his coach, leaving behind his mother, Clara, in their ornate penthouse, where she still labors as a delivery driver to help pay for Cornelius's expensive training.