Nico Calabria was born with no right hip or leg, but that is not how his parents would describe him. They would say he was born with a left leg. If ever he came home from school feeling sad or upset about his condition, they would sometimes offer him this advice, “We get it, it’s a bummer, but there’s legitimately zero you can do about it. So what now?” While they DID offer him comfort, they wouldn’t let him use it as an excuse to limit himself by the things he didn’t have. So with this upbringing, Nico never questioned his desire to become an athlete.
Nico went on to wrestle in high school, enjoyed gymnastics, and even raised $100,000 for a charity by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro at the age of 13. But Nico’s true passion was always soccer. He began playing soccer at 5 years old, and every day he would wake up to say “I want to play.” He would go on to play varsity soccer for in high school, and became an even became an internet sensation when a video of one of his goals went viral.
It was no surprise when the sports drink Powerade wanted to use Nico as the inspirational star of this commercial. The Calabria family’s moto that “you are not defined by the things you lack” exemplifies the sentiment behind the Power Through campaign. Whatever your condition, whatever obstacles you face in life, you can overcome. While Nico will never play in the World Cup like he dreamed as a young child, this commercial did air at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and he also went on to represent the US at the Amputee Football World Cup.
Watch Nico’s story of courage and determination below, and be sure to SHARE his story with your friends and family on Facebook.