Nineteen-year-old Nico Calabria was born with only one leg, but that didn’t stop him from playing the sport he loves. Calabria played varsity soccer for his high school in Concord, Mass. and he will enroll at Colorado College in the fall.
After a 2012 YouTube video of Calabria scoring a goal went viral, he gained the attention of Powerade, which recently released a home video/soccer montage of Calabria under their name. The message (below) is clipped from a mini-documentary that aired last Thursday at soccer film festival Kicking & Screening as part of Powerade’s global World Cup “#powerthrough” campaign. Calabria clearly exemplifies and surpasses what it means to power through—in spite of his disability—on the soccer field and in life.
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In an interview with Mashable.com, Calabria said, “Over the years I just kind of continually surprised myself with the level I was able to compete at.”
Long before his incredible over-the-head corner kick goal, Calabria, at the age of 13, became the first person to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro on crutches, raising more than $100,000 for charity in the process. No big deal.
As a member of the USA’s national amputee soccer team, Calabria will represent his country at the Amputee Football World Cup in November 2014. Taking a gap year after graduating from high school in 2013, Calabria taught gymnastics to kids and interned at SideStix, the company that makes his crutches. He hopes to practice with the soccer team at Colorado College this fall.
“I’m just honored to be a part of this and help tell my story,” Calabria said. “I guess my advice to people would be that it doesn’t really matter what your physical condition is, or what country you’re from, or what your gender is—soccer can unite everyone across almost any barrier.”
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