Hello again from the team at the OM@home blog, a blog about children and young people, written for children and young people . . . .
For young people just like you, about young people who inspire us all at OM HQ.
Young people like Gabriel Muniz . . . .
Like countless boys in Brazil, Gabriel’s main passion in life is soccer.
He’s good, too. Considered a star player at his school, just outside Rio de Janeiro, the athletic 11-year-old has medals galore to attest to his sporting prowess.
Even more impressive is that, when FC Barcelona, perhaps the greatest soccer team on the planet, hosted an international training camp in Brazil this summer, Gabriel stole the show, his performances so eye-catching that he was invited to travel to Spain to meet his idols, and once more put his skills to the test.
In recent days, he has done just that, spending time with, amongst others, Lionel Messi, a player considered the world’s best.
This in itself is a quite remarkable tale. But consider for a moment that Gabriel was born without feet and it becomes mind-blowing.
Gabriel knows that his dream – to emulate Messi and become a professional soccer player – is one that can never be fulfilled. Yet that truth has never stopped him dreaming.
‘Disabilities exist [just] in our heads,’ explains Jose Lopes, Gabriel’s gym teacher in Campos dos Goytacazes. ‘He is proving it to everyone. He is challenging the social norms.’
He is also proving an inspiration and teaching us all a lesson: That, with the right attitude, with determination and with indefatigable spirit, nothing is impossible. Believe enough, have courage and conviction, and anything can be achieved. Even playing soccer with the planet’s finest. Even for a child unfortunate enough to have no feet.
Gabriel, who learned to walk before his first birthday, has always has such qualities. Think about the difficulties that he has faced and the things he has achieved. It should make us all consider our own ambitions and our outlook in life.
This is one inspirational individual, who is setting us all an example, one that, here at OM HQ, we’re determined to follow. Here’s to Gabriel Muniz, whose greatness goes far beyond football . . .