Extraordinary People

Girl, 8, born with no legs takes gymnastics world by storm

Paige Calendine is living proof that anything is possible.

Paige Calendine is living proof that anything is possible.

This little girl, just eight-years-old, was born with no legs.

Though despite what could be perceived as a disability by others, her parents introduced her to gymnastics at a young age so that she could fulfil her full potential.

Paige is now a force to be reckoned with, competing in gymnastics events across all apparatus – floor, beam, vault, and asymmetric bars.

The feisty athlete is gaining international recognition, with one of her beam routines accruing an impressive 71,000+ views on Instagram at the time of publication.

Speaking about his daughter, Paige’s proud father said: “The real world is not going to adapt to her, so we don’t change any more than we have to for her.”

He added: “I love that the hardest event for her [bars] is the one she loves the most.

“She’s a great inspiration for anybody who says, ‘I can’t do it’.”

Paige has an army of famous fans too, including Olympic gold medallist Shawn Johnson.

Paige Calendine captures the public’s heart on national TV in USA [Credit: TNT]

During a TV appearance, Paige was surprised with a secret video that Shawn had recorded in which Johnson, 28, said: “I am obsessed with you.

“I’ve been watching all your videos. You are a beast. I want to meet you. I want to say, keep at it… You’re awesome.”

Paige, who uses prosthetic legs while at school, is baffling judges across her native USA.

Chatting about her protégé, Paige’s coach Mallory Gardner explained these judges have never experienced a gymnast who has not been conventionally able-bodied before.

Paige’s father says she inspires those who think they ‘can’t do it’ [Credit: WSYX]

She said: “When she first came to Zanesville Gymnastics in Ohio, I couldn’t believe how strong she was and how fast she could get around.

“She truly is amazing, and she doesn’t let anything get in her way. We had to adjust the way we trained her because it was different than how we trained others, but she was able to help with that as she knew what she could do and how to do it.”

Mallory added: “The judges really don’t know [how to mark Paige] because it’s not something they have ever had to deal with before.”

Meanwhile, Paige said: “There are really good girls that I see at practice, I want to be better too.”

Paige on her favourite apparatus  – the asymmetric bars [Credit: WSYX]

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