On a Roll

On a Roll

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An MSU honors program senior completing a double-major in media and theatre arts, Kevin Connolly is one helluva rolling exhibition. With digital equipment funded by his silver-medal earnings during the 2007 Winter X Games, Connolly, who was born without legs, recently skateboarded nonstop through ancient cobblestone streets and war-scarred communities on a mission to photograph the world. He visited 31 modern cities in 15 countries throughout the European, Australian, and Asian continents.

Sporting ingenuity, intelligence, and a wicked sense of humor, Connolly’s style incorporates his Irish intuition and his native Montana roots to creatively highlight a subject most humans ignore: people’s natural curiosity about those who are different. The project taught Connolly, only in his twenties, a thing or two about himself and the world he travels: people create a story to make all the pieces of what they witness fit together, based upon their history and experience. An open mind was Connolly’s best guidebook for the project.

After completing the worldwide trip, 20/20 contacted Connolly in his hometown of Helena to film a segment about his experience and his project portfolio culled from 32,000 images. Strapping a helmet-camera to his head, Connolly skateboarded and filmed along sidewalks and public buildings in Montana and New York to give interviewers a sense of his view. "I was born without legs," Connolly told 20/20, matter-of-factly. "This is all I've known, and to me, it's not really a big deal. I think it was called a 'sporadic birth defect,' which is basically the doctors saying they don't know what happened."

To see the images and learn more about the project, go to therollingexhibition.com. See the 20/20 segment at abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=3957287.
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