Triple-sport athlete shares his winning outlook on life - KMSP-TV

Warren DeLaSalle student overcomes the loss of legs to become a versatile, multi-sport athlete

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(Credit: WJBK|myFOXDetroit.com) Double amputee becomes star athlete (Credit: WJBK|myFOXDetroit.com) Double amputee becomes star athlete
WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) -

Jesus Villa is an 18-year-old senior at Warren DeLasalle High School. At first glance he may look different to you. But don't tell him he's handicapped.

"People see me and say 'ah poor him he has no legs.' They feel bad for me, but I don't think so. I'm playing three sports, I'm loving life. I do whatever I can and what I want to do, so I have no complaints," Jesus said.

And this young man seems so determined to not play the card of 'I'm handicapped' and DeLaSalle Head Coach Dennis Parks said, "I don't think he knows he is.To be honest with you, you wouldn't know it. We kind of joke around that he's not. But he's just a kid."

He was born in the Dominican Republic without Tibias. At the age of two both his legs were amputated. Through the Healing of Children organization Jesus came her and lived with a host family. What was thought to be a temporary home turned into a permanent family.

"Ever since then I've lived with them, they treat me like one of their children. And I'm really fortunate for that," Jesus said. But he is more than a competitor and a player on this wrestling team. He's also a winner. He has won 17 of his 28 matches while wrestling this season.

Coach Dennis Parks said, "wherever we go he gets standing ovations when he wins. He gets a lot of pins so it gets a lot of excitement." And Jesus says it's an awesome feeling. "During your match, it's by yourself. But you still know your points go to the team and it's just a great feeling knowing the Ref, raising your hand and your teammates cheering you on. Friends and family in the stands encouraging you. I love every moment of it.

Wrestling is one of three sports in which Jesus excels. He also plays sled hockey and wheelchair basketball which he'll play next year at the University of Illinois.

"I've been playing wheelchair basketball for about 11 or 12 years now. And my goal is to be in the Paralympics someday, and hopefully win a gold medal," Jesus said.

If you want to learn anything at all from Jesus, he has one simple message that he follows. "You can do anything. Just try, work hard. If you want it and you work hard, you actually have the drive to succeed, it will come to you," he said.

And if you were wondering what Jesus' signature move was on the wrestling mat he demonstrated it on me saying, "It's called a far side cradle, but my dad likes to call it the death grip."

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