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College Wrestler Gets New Legs

DAYTON, Ohio—Dustin Carter has proved he doesn’t need legs to be a winner on the wrestling mat.
But now he can stand a little taller.

Carter’s legs were amputated when he was 5 after he contracted a bacterial infection. He also lost much of his left arm and his right arm stops just after his elbow.

He inspired many a year ago by advancing to Ohio’s state high school wrestling tournament. Last week, Carter got a new pair of prosthetic legs.

“They’re going to take some getting used to,“ Carter said. “I’ll probably keep crawling mostly until the end of wrestling season. Crawling helps keep me in shape.“

Carter was 40-4 a year ago as a senior at Hillsboro High School before losing in the state semifinals. He now wrestles for the College of Mount St. Joseph, a Division III school.

Carter has had prosthetic legs before, but his last pair malfunctioned. It’s been more than a year since he has had them.

He got his new legs on Dec. 31.

His first try at walking was awkward. Less than an hour later, he was walking with confidence.

His father Russ Carter said that’s how his son has approached life since his arms and legs were amputated due to a meningitis and gangrene infection.

“He doesn’t let things slow him down,“ Russ Carter said. “Whatever adjustment has to be made, he makes it.“

Carter has struggled in his first season of wrestling in college, losing his first six matches.

“It’s been pretty rough. I’ve got a lot of weight to gain,“ he said. “Usually, it used to be that I was one of the strongest wrestlers, but now I’m the weakest one. I’ll be all right next year when I get bigger.“

The opponents are tougher, too, Carter said.

“Everybody is fast, everybody is strong, everybody knows their technique. If you want to be good in college, you really have to work,“ he said.

Carter said he’s trying to work out after practice and is drinking a lot of protein drinks.

His plan is to become a high school teacher and coach wrestling.

AP (Original Here)

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