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Overcoming Disabilities

Disabled athletes play wheelchair basketball at 2004 Paralympics.
Wheelchair Basketball
Athlete rock climbs using prosthetic legs.
Rockclimbing

No arms, no legs, no problems. Kidzworld looks at those who have overcome their disabilities and become star athletes.

Disabled Athletes - Wrestling Warrior

Trevon Jenifer was born without any legs because of a condition called congenital amputation. That didn't stop him from getting actively involved in sports. After spending ten years participating in wheelchair basketball and track, Trevon joined the wrestling team at his high school in Huntingtown, Maryland. While disabled athletes are usually eliminated from many team sports, Trevon has more than held his own on the school's wrestling team. Trevon has managed to overcome his disability by using his combination of balance and upper-body strength to his advantage. Opponents often have trouble wrestling with Trevon because he has no legs to grab on to, which gives him another advantage. Trevon has a wheelchair but he prefers to make his way around school by walking on his hands. In his junior year, Trevon has posted an 8-7 record and is an inspiration to other members of the school's wrestling team.

Disabled Athletes - Olympic Star

Rudy Garcia-Tolson was born with Pterygium Syndrome, which gave him a club foot, webbed fingers on both hands and a cleft lip and palate. At the age of five, Rudy decided to have his legs amputated and use artificial limbs, rather than remain confined to a wheelchair. Despite having no legs, Rudy plays football, runs track and has even completed several triathlons. This amazing 15 year-old athlete uses two prosthetic legs, so he can run, swim and play all the other sports he loves, including rock climbing. Rudy Garcia-Tolson also won two gold medals in swimming at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece.

Disabled Athletes - Shark Surfer

In October 2003, Bethany Hamilton was surfing off the coast of Hawaii when she was attacked by a 14-foot [kwlink]tiger shark[/kwlink]. Bethany managed to swim back to shore but not before the shark ripped off her left arm and ate a good chunk of her surfboard for lunch. Did a savage shark attack stop Bethany from riding waves? Not all all. Just four months later, Bethany Hamilton was back on her surf board and placed fifth in her age group at the National Surfing Championships. Bethany says she has to kick alot harder to make up for the loss of her arm but she still loves surfing as much as ever.

Disabled Athletes - Paralympians

The Summer and Winter Paralympics have given athletes with the disabilities a chance to shine on the world stage. From swimmers with no arms, to skiers with no legs, to wheelchair sprinters who burn around a track at record speeds - the Paralympics show that having a disability shouldn't stop someone from enjoying the challenges, thrills and inspirations of competitive sports.

Do you know of any athletes at your school or in your community who have overcome a disability. to Kidzworld.

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