Perspective From a Soccer Player with Down Syndrome

The story of Caio Tadeu Batista is one of hope and endurance. For Caio, a 26 year old male with Down syndrome, his greatest achievement is not getting up every morning and facing the new challenges. Instead, his greatest achievement is signing up with the Brazilian Giants Corinthians.

Caio is a member of a Brazilian national team that recognizes athletes with disabilities such as Down syndrome. Despite this disability, Caio starts his day off, like any regular athlete. He meets and greets his teammates, picks up his sports gear and takes part in the training sessions.

After completing his work session with his teammates Caio gave a startling press conference after he received his custom jersey. Forty eight hours later, Caio makes another accomplishment, which only proves that no disability is truly a disability, but an opportunity to show others some real hidden abilities.

The 2012 Club World Cup is for winners of Campeonato Paulista, and their match against another team, the Atletico Sorocaba. Caio shows off his skills and abilities during the warm up sessions. Caio politely and graciously claps his hands for the fans, takes a few bows and makes a beautiful shape of a heart with his hands. After this heartfelt moment, felt by hundreds of fans, family, friends and teammates, the Corinthians beat their competition 3 to 0.

During the two day period of training, and working out with the Corinthians, Caio was wearing GoPro camera equipment. The entire events from the last two days were recorded for all to see. His joy, his smile, his peace and his endeavors and the pride he brought to his teammates is presented in the video. This is a moment in history that documents the success of people like Caio who live with a disability. This video shows courage, strength and endurance.

Caio is clearly an inspiration to people with not only Down syndrome, but people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Having a disability does not affect a person’s ability to achieve greatness and perform at higher levels. The human mind and body prevails, even in instances of physical weakness.

Caio is just one person with a visible disability and he triumphed over obstacles that seemed impossible. When people look at Caio, they do not see a person with physical or intellectual limitations, they see a person who seizes every opportunity to live and pursue life to its fullest.

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