A high school swim team in Santa Clarita, California is learning the true value of hard work and determination thanks to one of the newest members of its squad. Freshman Cameron Lutges lost both of his legs above the knee when he was just 10 months old, but that didn’t stop him from trying out and making the swim team at Saugus High School.
“I am obviously not the same as other kids,” the fifteen-year-old said in an interview with KTLA. “But I don’t like seeing myself that way.”
Although Lutges relies entirely on his upper body to propel him through the pool, he is often able to keep up with his fellow swimmers during drills. Despite his remarkable physical ability, however, Saugus swim coach Jim Klipfel is most impressed with the freshman’s enthusiasm and spirit.
“We have a saying here that attitude’s a choice,” Klipfel said. “And when Cameron joined us last fall he epitomized that.”
His teammates agree, telling KTLA that Lutges is the “most encouraging on the team” and the person who “shows up every day” regardless of his circumstances.
“He doesn’t have the lower portion of his legs, but everybody on this team sees him as an equal,” said Cameron LaBrie, a junior on the team.
Ultimately, Lutges appreciates his teammates support both in and out of the pool and his goal is continuing to improve so that he can make the team again next year.
“They’re kind people. They never put someone down and they’re always inclusive,” he said. “It’s like I’m just one of the swimmers, and I like that.”
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