[VIDEO] This 19-Year-Old Can Do More With One Leg Than Most Can With Two

Playing for the U.S. National Soccer team and summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro are two accomplishments you likely wouldn't expect to find on a 19-year-old's resume; especially one who achieved both of those impressive feats with only one leg.

Cover image via Nico Calabria

As a camera zooms in on Nico Calabria, his father asks a simple question: "What do you think you’re going to do today?"

"Uh, play," Nico says.

In one look, a total transformation

Image via

His answer is as simple as it is powerful. The 19-year-old was born with no right hip or leg, yet he plays soccer, has wrestled in high school, grew up practicing gymnastics, and at the age of 13 raised more than $100,000 for charity by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro on crutches.

Nico got his start in the sport at an early age. Despite the fact that football revolves around the lower limbs, he played varsity soccer for his high school and scored a goal that became a viral highlight. WATCH:

Now Nico is starring in a Powerade commercial that debuted at the Kicking and Screening Soccer Film Festival at Tribeca Cinemas in New York on Friday; it will also air during the 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer

Nico Calabria goes up for a header while a high school soccer player in Concord, Mass.

Image via

"It’s still just, ‘I want to play,’ he says. And that’s what it will always be."

Nico says that ever since he started playing soccer at age 5, he's been dreaming of playing in the World Cup—as an able-bodied player, of course.

Nico says he was naive before. But it's not really naiveté that's fueled him.

He's always had a realistic view—his family's made sure of that. His brother picked on him the same way any older brother would. His parents didn’t coddle him or allow him to make excuses. “My parents always instilled in an attitude of, ‘Hey, tough luck, man. You were born with one leg. Now make the best of it.'”

Calabria’s mother, Jeanine, says that from the start, the family made sure to focus on what he did have rather than what he didn’t. Instead of saying he had one leg, they'd say he had a left leg.

Growing up, after having been “judged for having one leg,” Nico would go to his parents for sympathy. His mother would console him; his father wouldn’t. “We get it, it’s a bummer, but there’s legitimately zero you can do about it,” Carl Calabria would say. “So what now?”

The mini documentary doubles as a branded Powerade spot, but it's inspiring stuff nonetheless, and an amazing window into Nico's story

Image via

Growing up in Indianapolis, Ind., and Concord, Mass., Calabria says it took years to realize that the active lifestyle he enjoyed as a kid — and excelled at — was anything out of the ordinary.

"I've always been part of a family that's athletic, and had an older brother who was very athletic, so I was just trying fit it and didn't think I was doing anything abnormal. But over the years I just kind of continually surprised myself with the level I was able to compete at."

WATCH: Nico grow from a toddler to a confident child and finally into his teen years, when his talent for soccer becomes truly remarkable

For all the amazing moments in the video, one subtle scene stands out above the rest: Asked how old he is, Nico says he's 8—and the look he gives speaks volumes. In the span of a minute, we've watched him learn to make the most of the body he was born with, and his hard-earned confidence comes across clearly, with little more than a raise of his eyebrows.

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