High School Swimmer Tackles Odds With One Leg

Swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States, but most people who swim do so with two legs. In the U.S., there are 2.7 to 3.5 million scuba divers with as many as 6 million active divers around the world. According to a recent story from USA Today, however, a Florida high school student does things a little bit differently.

Christina Lang, 17, isn’t like the other sophomores on her swim team, because when she entered the pool for the first time and removed her prosthetic, it was revealed that she only had one of her legs.

Classmate Christina Neri remembers the first time she realized that Lang wasn’t like your typical swimmer.

“It didn’t actually register that she was an amputee until she stepped onto the block and stepped out of her prosthetic,” Neri said. “So I was kind of just like in awe and like, she’s swimming on an able-bodied team for her high school.”

Lang hasn’t let her difference slow down her swimming career. Her mother, Shannon Waites, explained that a blood infection that hit Christina when she was only two and a half took her leg — and could have taken with it much more.

“It actually got really bad. I call her my miracle baby because it hit all of her limbs. There was no doubt. It would have been her life if they had not taken her leg.”

For Lang, swimming isn’t any more of a challenge to her as it is to any of the other students in her grade. She doesn’t want to be labeled as “the swimmer with one leg,” because she doesn’t know any differently.

“Swimming is a hard sport. I don’t know it any other way. I’ve never swam with two legs so I don’t know if it’s hard with one leg compared to two legs. So, is it hard? Yes. But is it hard because I have one leg? I don’t know.”

Lang has her sights set on competing in the 2020 Paralympic Games, which will be held in Japan. In her free time, Christina also loves to rock climb, white water raft, scuba dive, and practice karate.

Related posts