Superpowers are usually associated with action superheroes like Superman or Batman. And right now, from movies like “Captain America” to weekly fan conventions across the country, superheroes are bigger than ever. ABC invites viewers to meet some real people with superpowers that they’ve developed by dedicating their lives to the basic human urge to overcome limitations, to soar by unlocking abilities hidden deep within. “A Special Edition of 20/20: Super Powers, Super Humans” airs Friday, July 22 at 9:00 pm ET on the ABC Television Network.
Amazing Artist: He didn’t speak until he was 5 years old, but that didn’t keep Stephen Wiltshire from developing a unique ability to communicate – through drawing. He has a super human ability to look at a huge landscape like London or Tokyo only once and then recreate it on paper down to the last detail — from memory alone. “20/20” viewers will watch as Stephen draws the New York City landscape completely from memory, and a London skyline in three hours. Nick Watt reports.
Girl Wonder: Jackie Evancho is the Little Girl with the Big Voice: At just 11 years old, Jackie Evancho’s spellbinding voice has taken the Opera world by storm. A YouTube sensation, Jackie captured the nation’s heart when she took second place on the 2010 season of “America’s Got Talent” and became the best-selling debut artist of 2010 with her first EP. Dr. Clark Rosen, director of the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, says Jackie is “incredibly rare… her brain has the ability to use every facet of her body, her vocal chords, her lungs, her tongue, in a unique fashion.” Her fans agree. Her latest release, “Dream with Me,” contended for the top spot on the charts. Elizabeth Vargas reports.
Wing Walker: Ashley Battles is one of the world’s few professional wing walkers, who last year broke the world record for longest duration wing walking when she flew over the Golden Gate Bridge for more than four hours at 1000 feet, battling hurricane force winds, extreme cold and birds that could kill her on impact. She reveals the secrets of standing on top of a plane, even upside down, to Jay Schadler.
Birdman: Ever since Jeb Corliss was a young boy, he dreamt of being able to fly like a bird. Now, wearing a wing suit, Corliss does exactly that, jumping from tall buildings. Always pushing the limits, Corliss is now training for his next superhuman feat and his most death defying maneuver yet: he will attempt to fly through a small hole in a mountain in china… the human version of threading the needle — and our cameras capture him from all angles as he trains in Zurich. Jay Schadler reports.
Superhuman Mountain Climber: A catastrophic skiing accident left Chris Waddell a paraplegic – but also triggered something strange inside his broken body, turning him into a virtual man-of-steel. After the accident, Waddell didn’t even miss one ski season on his way to becoming a hall-of-fame paralympic skier and wheel-chair athlete. He even made People magazine’s list of The 50 Most Beautiful People. But the medals and accolades sought by mere mortals weren’t enough of a challenge for Waddell; at 33 he gave up competitive athletics in search of a bigger challenge, and found it in his quest to become the first parapalegic to ever conquer the highest mountain in Africa – Mount Kilimanjaro – without the use of his legs. Deborah Roberts reports.
“20/20” is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and Chris Cuomo. David Sloan is executive producer.