I was messing around on the internet this morning when I noticed a headline that read, “Video: One-Legged Soccer Player Nets Amazing Goal”. Being a huge sports fan, I had to click on the link. I’m really glad that I did, because I was instantly inspired by what I saw. Check this out!
The player who scored the goal is the aforementioned Nico Calabria. He’s a senior at Concord-Carlisle High School in Concord, Massachusetts, and he was born without a right leg and hip. Calabria’s dad believes Nico is the first one-legged player ever on a varsity soccer field. To make the feat even cooler — it was Nico’s first goal as a member of the CCHS team.
Nico’s disability never stopped him from playing soccer even at a very young age. Just take a look at this video in which he accidentally drills his sister in the head with a soccer ball as a kid (he’s obviously always had a killer shot). Calabria has become so good at the game that he even plays on the U.S. National Amputee Soccer Team, which has a roster full of amazing stories.
If you think playing soccer on one leg is impressive — what do you think about climbing a mountain with one leg? Oh yeah, Nico Calabria has done that too. At just 13-years-old, Calabria became the first person to reach the summit of Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet) on crutches. In the process, he raised more than $100,000 for charity which helped provide 2,000 wheelchairs to the people of Tanzania. Nico’s efforts were documented in a short-film entitled Nico’s Challenge, which took first place (and received numerous other honors) at the American Pavilion Film Festival in Cannes, France. You can watch the entire documentary right here (it’s totally worth your time (15 minutes) – trust me).
So, while Nico Calabria is new to you and me, he’s been making national and international headlines for a long time (I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear from him either). Nico has even appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and All Things Considered on National Public Radio. And, just when you thought Nico couldn’t get any cooler — he does. Calabria also competes on his high school wrestling team. In this video, he wins the Massachusetts sectional tournament and is awarded Outstanding Wrestler.
Nico Calabria has accomplished more on one leg than most teenagers (and many adults) have with two legs. He’s climbed a mountain on one leg, he’s won wrestling tournaments with one leg, and not only can he score a goal, but he plays soccer on a field that stretches 100-feet by 60-feet on one leg. This kid is truly amazing, and he’s given me the motivation to go out and do something awesome today. I hope he’s done the same for you.