Tag: wrestling

High School Wrestler Without Arms And Legs Defies Odds And Wins First Match

Caleb Smith wrestling

High schooler Caleb Smith (pictured) recently defied his disability by winning his first wrestling bout for his St. Paul Minnesota high school, according to CBS Minnesota.  Smith lost his limbs when he contracted a rare meningitis blood disorder at the age of 3-years-old that caused his blood vessels to burn.

Due to his illness, the Harding senior’s parents were forced to make the heart-ripping decision to have their son’s arms and legs removed at their respective joints.  “I was 3, so I hadn’t developed writing and walking skills completely, so it was pretty easy getting used to it, Smith said of his experience.

Fifth grade was when Smith began to dabble in the highly aggressive sport of wrestling, and hiscaleb positive attitude about himself allowed him to take part in his first match.

As far as the sport goes, even though Smith weighs a feathery 120 pounds, don’t let his size fool you; the teen has learned to use his physique to help him maintain a competitive edge against his opponents. According to his high school coaches, Smith moves better than his rivals and has led his school in escapes this year.

“He’s got the kind of strength people don’t normally see at 120,” coach Otto Kraus told CBS Minnesota. “Plus, the way he can move makes it hard to wrestle him.”

The young dynamo does have one drawback, though: he gets winded more easily than his opponents.  In order to combat this Smith says he trains tirelessly so that he can overcome wrestling’s physical challenges.  “For them to run 10 yards or whatever, it takes them like 20 steps,” he said. “But it takes me like 30 because my legs can only move so far,” he told CBS Minnesota.

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Students With Disabilities Have Right To Play School Sports, Obama Administration Tells Schools

Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to President Obama for Disability Policy (left), with Learning Ally member Henry “Hoby” Wedler (right)
When Kareem Dale, now a special advisor to President Barack Obama, was in high school, all he wanted to do was wrestle. But as a student who was partially blind, that wasn’t easy.

Dale’s school made it possible for him to participate in the sport by creating a rule that wrestlers always needed to be touching their opponent. “It allowed me to wrestle throughout public high school,” Dale said. “That experience of wrestling gave me confidence, it made me healthier, it was really an extraordinary experience.”

But hundreds of other students with disabilities may not have had an opportunity in school sports, a 2010 Government Accountability Office report suggested. The U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights on Friday is sending school districts a 13-page guidance document that spells out the rights of students with disabilities to participate in school athletics.

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