Inspirational Young Girl Born Without Legs Competes As Gymnast
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Meet eight-year-old Paige Calendine. She was born without legs, but hasn't allowed this to halt her progress in how she wants to live her life. In fact, she's an accomplished competitor in gymnastics. See for yourself:
The youngster, who has always had a passion for the sport, having first gotten involved when she was just 18 months old, says that she doesn't see her disability as an obstacle.
Speaking to ABC6, she said: "My parents signed me up to gymnastics cause they wanted me to have body strength and then when I started I had a little struggle, but then I started getting better and when we go on these bars we started working on routines."
Since taking up gymnastics, Paige has been training with the Zanesville Gymnastics team in the city of Zanesville, Ohio, under her coach, Esther Weibel.
Paige competed over the weekend and Esther told the news outlet: "Paige has been working out here since she was a little girl, she started competing for us just this season as an XceL bronze. She's a big part of our XceL team. She practices with all the XceL levels together.
"XceL is like an alternative program within USA gymnastics. It's more free for creativity and skills, so we can kind of make the routines more individual to each child."
Paige has never let her disabilities to get in her way, and has always worked hard to advance as an athlete. However, according to the gymnast, there is also space for some fun.
Before this weekend's competition, she said: "So sometimes we have to do like really hard work and strength but it's also fun, like real fun, like we get the job in a pit and stuff, it's fun.
"Gymnastics is one of my things that I should keep with me for a very long time and keep coming and get back to [the] schedule and compete again."
Paige's father Sean Calendine explained: "We started Paige at 18 months old in gymnastics just to build her upper body strength and get her, and she just did great, and we've just been working at it ever since. She just gets better and better.
"She wants to do cheer leading, she wants to swim, we've actually been thinking about archery. She talked about archery and stuff. We can't do that yet but it all just depends on if that affects gymnastics.
"The real world is not going to adapt to her, so we don't try to change any more than we have to for."
What an inspirational girl. Well done, Paige.