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With only one leg, he didn't give up running

With only one leg, he didn't give up running

By Elora HaysPublished 2 years ago 5 min read

Franks is a Haitian who loves football and life. He has been playing football on the street since he was a child.

Although he had to carry heavy loads to feed his family every day, he would play football against the wall whenever he had time, no matter how tired or late he was, even if he was alone. He had no sneakers, and the football was scavenged from the garbage, but he kept at it. It was his hobby and all his entertainment.

He was still at the factory when the disaster struck, and the sudden earthquake destroyed the warehouse in an instant. The concrete walls fell on his legs.

When Franks woke up, it was six days after the disaster. He had survived, but he had lost a leg.

Looking at the empty pants, Franks burst into tears. He was in pain, 23 years old, how should he face the future? Moreover, he will never play football again, the world is eclipsed at this moment, dreams and happiness are broken, and he is in despair.

Back in his tent home, Franks was listless. To live, for him, maybe a painful thing, he is unable to face this cruel reality, all day long in sleep, with sleep to avoid waking sad.

For months he had been so confused that he would eat alms and crawl into bed.

One afternoon, leaning on a cane, Franks went to get food.

When he was walking past a parking lot, a football suddenly flew in, he did not hesitate, subconsciously kicked the ball out with his sound legs...

With a perfect shot, the ball flew into the crowd, the crowd applauded his performance. That moment, gave Franksmo a big touch, yes, he still has a sound leg, can play football, and can also go to work.

A reinvigorated Franks returned to football with renewed enthusiasm. More than 4,000 of the 300,000 people injured in Haiti's earthquake have had their limbs amputated, raising an endless supply of questions: How do you give these amputees their lives back? How to restore their determination and courage to exercise? How to give them a safe and scientific exercise program?

With the support of the government, Franks put together a team of one-legged men who had always loved football. Admiring the fact that insect tarantulas can survive a broken leg, they named them Team Tarantulas. Of the 15 players in the team, 14 have only one leg, except the goalkeeper, who, however, has only one hand.

The reality is always very cruel, in the training, there are all kinds of problems, and physical and mental wounds are not quickly healed.

In the early days of crutches, frustrated players even used crutches as a weapon to attack opponents, but as the number of games increased, they were generally able to follow the discipline on the field. Because of their inability to balance, they often fall when they run, and their speed is especially slow, let alone control the football. They even trip over because of the other team's crutches and fall when they head the ball... They have to sweat ten times more than in normal football practice.

Despite the difficulties, they did not give up and kept training. Gradually, the players became more and more flexible and more and more skilled with the ball. They learned how to swing from side to side with the help of crutches, how to pick up the ball, and how to spin the ball with one leg -- players were allowed to dribble with the only leg they had, and it was illegal to dribble with crutches, so they developed more impressive dribbling skills than able-bodied athletes.

Running fast on one leg requires a lot of balance, and to kick the ball, their crutches must almost stick into the turf at every stop, and they are prone to fall when they run again. But for those who have survived, overcoming adversity is a part of life.

Three months later, when a player successfully kicked the ball into the woodwork, everyone laughed and cried at the same time. Because, of their persistence, finally have hope.

To promote this positive attitude, Franks regularly organizes friendly matches with other one-legged teams, hoping to bring back Haitians' courage to live, compete, entertain, and never give in.

Using crutches or prosthetics, the players raced to grab the ball, pass and shoot with one good leg they had been lucky enough to save. They seemed to tell the world that Haiti was incomplete, but Haitians persevered, and in this fractured land, they kindled the hope of recovery.

On December 26, 2011, the world football festival - the 2011 Football Oscars kicked off, and the eyes of the world are focused on here. Franks's team also appeared on the field, becoming the most moving figure in 2011 football, shook the hearts of everyone.

There were 22 players on the sunlit field, 24 legs proudly upright, all with crutches except the goalkeeper. There are only 42 hands on the pitch as both goalkeepers have only one arm!

The amputation of the disabled leg varies from player to player, from below the knee to more severe amputations that leave only a small portion of the thigh. So, in the interest of fairness, the rules of the game never allow the ball to be touched with the disabled leg or with the crutch.

As a result, during the first and second 25 minutes of the game, the players gave up their artificial limbs to make life easier and used crutches to run fast for the ball. The ecstasy after the goal, the perseverance in the pursuit, at that moment, the smile on everyone's face.

When the game ended, all the team members leaned on each other and raised their crutches to celebrate the moment, and the whole world moved.

The simple fact is: although they lost one leg, they did not give up running, with the other lucky leg, straight and happy to stand.


About the Creator

Elora Hays

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