Texas swimmer without arms thrives on challenges in and out of pool

Born without arms, Domingo Santoyo lives life on his terms.

The determined Rivera High School junior doesn’t shy away from challenges. Instead, he readily accepts them.

“From my point of view, I don’t think of myself as limited,” Santoyo, 16, said. “I was born like this, and sometimes, I think it was better this way because there are some people who lose their arms in accidents, and I think that makes it harder.”

Already a national-level competitor in chess as a middle-school student, Santoyo decided it was time to learn to swim last summer, and that endeavor led him to join the Rivera swimming team.

“Domingo always wants to do the most he can,” said Astrid Santoyo, Domingo’s mother. “He wanted to get into sports because he needed credits for PE (physical education) at school, and he didn’t want to take adaptive PE. He was thinking about trying out as a kicker for the football team, but he had knee surgery and a dislocated hip when he was younger, and I wasn’t convinced about that idea.

“He tried swimming and found out that he really liked it,” she added. “Since the first day, he’s been all excited about being in the pool. I’m happy because he doesn’t give up. He doesn’t mind if he’s the last one, although he’s very competitive. I think the coaches would say that he’s improved a lot.”

Read the full Brownsville Herald article here.

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