Although she was born without any legs and just one arm, that has not stop Kayla Wheeler from being a swimming champion. The 16-year-old swimming phenomenon was born with three congenital amputations. Despite all of that, she continues to shatter world records. She was first introduced to swimming lessons by her doctor who recommended it as a form of therapy.
Currently, the high school junior holds the world record in the 50-meter butterfly Paralympic. So far, she has competed in Mexico, Brazil and the Netherlands. “It’s kind of indescribable. When they announce her name and she’s representing the United States I get goose bumps all over. I’m so amazed that’s my child,” stated Joyce, her mother. Swimmers such as Kayla are divided into different class levels based on their disability. In fact, she qualified for the 2012 London Paralympic Games, but unfortunately there were not enough individuals to make up the numbers, so she couldn’t go in the end.
“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,” she explained. Although she was rather disappointed with it, she still continues to keep herself occupied by bowling, skiing and playing baseball. “We always told her there is nothing you can’t do, we just might have to figure out a different way for you to do it and she has pushed the envelope,” said Joyce. That is somewhat an understatement, especially for Kayla who is also on the Rocketry and Robotics Team. Aside from that, she is taking advanced classes at Edmonds Community College, making her an amazing inspiration both in and out of the water.
“I like being able to represent my country. That’s amazing breaking records and getting medals, but I like being out there as a role model too,” she mentioned. This year, she was named a scholastic All-American for both her good grades and swimming achievements as well. Her next big competition will be the International Paralympic World Championships in August in Montreal. From next year, she will become a senior and she has already set her sights on which college she intends to attend. As of now, she is choosing between the University of Washington and Yale. For a video of this amazing swimming champion, check it out here.
If someone like Kayla is capable of becoming a swimming champ with just one arm, then ordinary people should have no problems with merely picking up the skill. Happy Fish Swim School offers swimming lessons in Singapore. For more details, kindly refer to our website.