Children's Health

8-year-old Georgia boy with no legs wows on obstacle courses

Despite being born with legs, Gabe Sanders, 8, loves to compete in obstacle course races.

Despite being born with legs, Gabe Sanders, 8, loves to compete in obstacle course races.  (Fox 5 Atlanta.)

When Rachel and Clint Sanders adopted their son Gabe from an orphanage in China, little did they know that in only 2 years, the boy would one day compete in obstacle courses. That’s because Gabe was born without legs.

"He can play and do all the things the other children can do,” Rachel told Fox 5. “We've not made a single adaptation to our home, they haven't had to make any adaptations at school whatsoever, which is just really awesome, that's he's able to be Gabe.”

The Toccoa, Georgia, family, which includes three siblings, have always spent a lot of time outdoors. Clint is a longtime obstacle course competitor, going for BattleFrog races where competitors climb over walls and crawl along the ground on their way to victory. When his dad encouraged him to join the rest of their children, the boy was initially hesitant.

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"[At first I was] nervous,” Gabe told Fox5. “because like I thought every single people was going to stare at me."

Gabe has competed in three such races and recently completed his first mile-long course without assistance. In one race, a segement required athletes to drag or carry a sandbag. Gabe’s solution was to drag it with his teeth, which didn’t hurt, he added.

When he was adopted, the couple picked the name “Gabriel” because it means “God’s able-bodied man.”

"We're pretty proud of him,” Clint told the news channel. “He's a fearless little boy and he can do most anything."