While the world's professional athletes are training for this year's summer Olympics, the Extremity Games in New Braunfels gave athletes of a different kind a chance to compete.
Nearly 150 competitors made the trip to the Central Texas town to face off in a variety of games, including wakeboarding, wall climbing, kayaking and skateboarding. However, one thing set this group of athletes apart—they all had at least one prosthetic limb.
Trevor Wallace, 19, lost his left leg above the knee nearly two years ago. He had broken his leg as a high school football player in Kansas, but after a bad infection, doctors decided the leg needed to be amputated.
"I looked down and the lower half of my leg was gone. I pretty much bit down right there and accepted that this was life," Wallace said.
With the aid of a prosthetic, he learned to adapt. At the Extremity Games this weekend, he participated in the wakeboarding contest, but Wallace doesn’t think of the event as a competition.
"There are a lot of the same faces here this year and I'm glad that they're still here because they gave me a lot of support and helped me get up and become a moderately good wakeboarder," he said.
Cameron Clapp made the trip from California to kayak in the games. As a teenager, he was struck by a train, causing him to lose both of his legs and his left arm.
Prosthetic company Hanger Inc. manufactured a new arm for Clapp, one which lets him get into the water and paddle his kayak.
"What’s really incredible is the fact that I have the ability to get out there and compete,” Clapp said. “I can grab that paddle and I can drag that thing in the water and get a lot of pull. That would not be possible without the technology today."
The games wrap up with an awards ceremony Saturday evening.
TWC News: Amputees show off athletic prowess at Extremity Games
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