An amputee outdoes himself every Halloween with incredible one-legged costumes

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist as Groot in this year’s Halloween costume.
  • Josh Sundquist, a motivational speaker and Paralympic athlete, creates costumes that celebrate his physical difference as an amputee.
  • Every Halloween, his elaborate costumes go viral.
  • This year, he dressed as Groot from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies.
  • He hopes his costumes both make people laugh and help them celebrate what makes them different.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Josh Sundquist outdoes himself every year.

After losing his leg to bone cancer as a child, Sundquist went on to become a Paralympic athlete as well as a motivational speaker, performer, bestselling author, and YouTuber. A self-proclaimed Halloween enthusiast, Sundquist is also known for creating “unique Halloween costumes that celebrate the way my body is shaped,” he told Insider in 2019.

Every Halloween, he dreams up clever one-legged costumes, each more elaborate than the last

This year, he dressed as Groot from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies — in particular, when the character appears as a baby at the end of the first film.

Sundquist enlisted the help of props and costume designer Calen Hoffman. The costume took weeks to create.

“It is a very long process,” he said. “I feel like I work on Halloween year-round.”

For Sundquist, the amusement and inspiration the costumes provide is worth the effort.

“Ultimately the message of the costumes is humour and delight, but if people want to think deeper about them, hopefully there’s a story there about embracing what makes you unique and even what makes you different,” he said.

“If you were to show younger me the costumes that I make now, he probably would not believe that I would be calling attention to how I look different. Perhaps if there was someone like me out there at that time, and I’d been able to see those photos, maybe it would have helped me become a little more confident in the way I looked a little bit sooner in my journey.”

Take a look at Sundquist’s history of absolutely crushing Halloween.


Josh Sundquist is a 36-year-old motivational speaker, performer, and bestselling author.

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist.

He’s written two memoirs, “Just Don’t Fall: A hilariously true story of childhood cancer, amputation, romantic yearning, truth, and Olympic greatness” and “We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story,” and a novel called “Love and First Sight.”

He also performed a comedic one-man show at the Santa Monica Playhouse in 2019 called “We Should Hang Out Sometime.”


Through his work, he shares his journey from losing his leg to bone cancer as a child to eventually becoming a Paralympic athlete, as well as his past dating misadventures.

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist competing at the Paralympics.

Sundquist was a member of the US Paralympic Ski Team for the 2006 Paralympics in Turin, Italy, and currently plays for the US Amputee Soccer Team.


His creative one-legged Halloween costumes have become an annual tradition, starting with the half-eaten gingerbread man from “Shrek” in 2010.

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist’s gingerbread man costume in 2010.

“After the gingerbread man, that was the last time and the only time that I personally had enough skill to make one of these costumes on my own,” he said. “It was a normal ‘Shrek’ gingerbread costume from Amazon that I literally just cut the left leg off in the shape of a bite mark. Everything after that I’ve needed people’s help who are far better craftspeople than I am.”


In 2012, he dressed up as the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story.”

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist’s Halloween costume in 2013.

Complete with a black high-heeled shoe and fishnet stockings, the lamp actually worked with a functional light bulb.


The following year, he dressed up as a flamingo.

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist in 2013.

The head of the flamingo is Sundquist’s foot.


In 2014, Sundquist incorporated his US Amputee Soccer Team uniform into his foosball player costume.

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist in 2014.

He covered his crutches with metallic tubes to make them look like foosball table handles.


He hopped around as an IHOP sign in 2015.

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist in 2015.

His wife, Ashley, accompanied him dressed as a stack of pancakes.


For Halloween in 2016, he dressed as the candlestick Lumiere from “Beauty and the Beast.”

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist in 2016.

He wore a gold bodysuit with candles for hands.


In 2017, he took on the role of Tigger from “Winnie the Pooh.”

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist in 2017.

Sundquist’s leg is hidden in the tail, creating the illusion that he is springing around on it just like the excitable character.


Sundquist’s Genie from “Aladdin” emerged from a golden lamp in 2018.

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh and Ashley Sundquist in 2018.

Ashley played the part of Aladdin.


Last year’s Pixar lamp was one of his most complex costumes to date.

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist as the Pixar lamp.

Sundquist first contacted Steven Meissner, who made the costume, in May 2019 to prepare for that year’s Halloween. He then spent Halloween trick-or-treating at Disneyland – the ultimate Disney-Pixar collaboration.


This year, Sundquist dressed up as Groot from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.

Courtesy of Josh SundquistJosh Sundquist as Groot.

Creating the costume required Sundquist to make a mannequin of his body by wrapping himself in duct tape. He then shipped the homemade mannequin off to designer Calen Hoffman, who built the costume out of foam, paint, and more duct tape.


He nailed it.

Courtesy of Josh SundquistSpot-on.

“I was inspired by Groot’s shape at the end of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1’ when Groot appears as a baby,” Sundquist wrote on his blog. “He’s shown as a single stem in a simple flower pot. Boom. Perfect costume to showcase my own single stem. I also love that he’s dancing, smiling and just generally having a good time despite all the challenges that the Guardians had just been through together. Dressing up as an extraterrestrial tree monster who has overcome a tough year is so 2020.”

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