For two weeks in London, heroes will be made. Of those heroes, none will likely have to overcome the same odds as 10-year-old swimmer Ben Ramirez of El Paso, Texas.
Ben has only one arm.
At the El Paso City Championships on Sunday, this truth may have been hard for a bystander to believe. Racing against the top competition in El Paso, Ben claimed two gold medals, including one in the individual medley. He also added two bronze medals in team races.
Ben was born with his one-armed condition in China before being sent to a foster home. He eventually was placed in a home in El Paso.
Despite his handicap, Ben does not make excuses. "I mean, I know there is a disadvantage but with the way he trains, he doesn't say anything about it," coach Josh Salas says.
Salas told ABC-7 El Paso that Ben outworks his competition. Ben’s older brother playfully calls Ben’s competitive fire "stubborn."
In Ben's mind, he must continue to work hard until being at the top of the competition, especially during a race. "It gets exhausting and it gets, like, cold so you have to keep on trying until you get to first," he says.
Ben says he hopes to compete in the Paralympics one day. KVIA reporter Matthew Smith told Ben he would not be surprised to see him in the full-fledged Olympics one day. To that, Ben smiled.