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.
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.