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

  1. tanya lopez says:

    dear Domingo, i am really impressed that you never gave up.i was born with a small hand almost like you but mine is one regular finger and my other one is medium and the rest are small.i have had problems with kids making fun of me,and that's the reason i have low-self esteem.i was reading your story and i see that you are a positive person.keep that up and you will achieve all the goals you have want. i would like to learn how to swim. if you ever get time to write here is my email address shinings27@yahoo.com. i am usually check my email every day and i will respond as soon as possible. just remind me that it is you.

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