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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