Just as Oscar Pistorius showed us this summer that you don’t need legs to run a race, young Gabriel Muniz is changing what we think of as necessary to play the game of soccer.
The 11-year-old Brazilian was born without feet, but that hasn’t kept him from playing the game he loves astonishingly well and becoming a top player on his school team in Rio de Janeiro.
Although he has prosthetic feet, he doesn’t wear them on the field as they slow him down.
“He started walking before he was one. We would go after him, expecting him to keep falling, but he never fell,” said Gabriel’s mother, Sandra Muniz, to The Telegraph.
His story and skill caught the attention of the soccer club Barcelona who invited him to their youth training academy in Spain. While there he also got to meet his soccer hero Lionel Messi.
Gabriel hopes some day that soccer will be a Paralympic sport and that he can play there for Brazil. But, as Pistorius has shown, Gabriel may not need to limit his Olympic dreams.
Video via ITN