Swimming star has no legs, one arm

Kayla Wheeler is proving that no disability should stand in
someone’s way.

Wheeler is a 16-year-old swimming phenomenon despite being born
without legs and one arm. The junior at Mountlake Terrace (Wash.)
High School is a Paralympic world record holder in the 50 meter
butterfly and has competed around the world. She even qualified for
the 2012 London Paralympic Games, but she did not go because there
was not enough competition, KCPQ reports.

“I didn’t get to make the team because there were no
female events for my classification, which is an S1. That’s
the most disabled you could be and still swim,” Kayla told

Wheeler got started with swimming at an early age after a doctor
recommended lessons as a form of therapy. She hasn’t stopped

“Just when you think she can`t do any better, she does it
again,” her mother, Joyce Wheeler, told KCPQ.

Wheeler is gearing up for a competition at the International
Paralympic World Championships in Montreal this August.

In addition to her swimming prowess, Wheeler also excels in

According to KCPQ, Wheeler is on her school’s robotics
team, takes advanced classes at a local community college, and was
named a Scholastic All-American.

Wheeler is no stranger to media coverage. In 2010, KCPQ did a
story on the young lady when she was in eighth grade (video below).
Wheeler explained in that interview why swimming is so great for

“It makes me feel free because I don’t necessarily
have all the limitations that I do out of the water,” Wheeler
said at the time. “I can do flips in the water. I can do
cartwheels in the water. Things that kind of defy

The video also showed her participating in bowling, ballet, and
baseball. She even was taking ski lessons, and called skiing the
“most awesome sport ever, except for swimming.”

Wheeler’s overall attitude is an inspiration to all of

“I don’t really try to feel sad about my life kind
of thing. I just try to find other ways to make it better than it
already is.”

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