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Soccer is truly the Game for all Kids! Nicolai Calabria is one of US Youth Soccer's 3.2 million members. But he is hardly your average 13 year old.
"We knew before Nicolai was born that he would only be born with one leg," said Nicolai's father, Carl. "When he grew up it became very clear that his attitude was, 'I can do anything I want to; just let me figure out my own way of doing it."
As a family tradition, when Nicolai turned 13, he was able to choose anywhere in the world to travel to. He chose to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak in Tanzania. He also wanted to give to a charity along with his climb.
Nicolai chose the Free Wheelchair Mission, which purchases wheelchairs that are made of lawn chairs with mountain bike tires. So far, Nicolai has contributed over 2,200 wheelchairs.Nicolai's perseverance and love for soccer started long before his thirteenth birthday as his older brother taught him to play at a young age. "I play some other sports, but I like soccer more than anything else," Nicolai said.
When Nicolai was in Tanzania, he wanted to play soccer, and it took him less than five minutes to find a game. He marched up to the group, pointed at the ball and his foot and began playing.
"Soccer is a sport that transcends language, transcends differences in mobility, culture. It is where my child is embraced by a group of kids," said Carl.