Local one-legged soccer player scores amazing goal
CONCORD, Mass. (WHDH) -- No matter how you look at it, this player’s shot was nothing short of amazing.
“Definitely didn’t plan it -- the ball just came over the top and I saw it. My first instinct was to take a volley out of the air,” said Nico Calabria, a one-legged soccer player.
“We saw the goal, but no one really appreciated what it looked like until I got home at night and I downloaded the game film and that was really spectacular,” said Ray Pavlik, Calabria’s coach.
The Concord-Carlisle High School senior has been playing soccer since he was 5 years old. He doesn’t see his physical impairment as a major obstacle.
“You have to adapt and pick things you are good at and things you can excel at,” said Calabria.
Calabria also plays for the National U.S. Amputee Soccer Team. The athlete also wrestles -- he paced third in Massachusetts’ Division Two.
He has gained national attention before. When he was 13 years old he was the first amputee to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. He had the goal of raising money to buy poor Africans wheelchairs. Calabria raised more than $100,000 and said the goal he scored this week can’t not compare.
“Definitely a bigger accomplishment would be Kilimanjaro because that was not just for myself, it was for people with disabilities in Africa,” said Calabria.
As the YouTube hits continue to climb, Calabria wants others to look past his physical status and know that he can compete.
“I want to be seen as a threat. I don’t want to be seen as anyone who deserves pity, or anyone that deserves extra leniency from the defense. I just want to be seen as an equal and a competitor,” said Calabria.
Calabria is set to graduate from Concord-Carlisle High School this year, but he still doesn’t know which college he will go to. He said he will still play soccer no matter where he ends up.
Here is the YouTube video:
Original link to the YouTube video:
Story of Nico's Kilimanjaro climb:
Free Wheelchair Mission, the group that benefited from Nico's climb:
Short documentary on Nico's climb: