BOSTON (CBS) – The new Powerade campaign is both touching and powerful. It’s about a boy with a disability making his way through the years. You see his struggles, his perseverance and his success, but mostly, his spirit.
Its star is Nico Calabria, a 2013 Concord-Carlisle graduate and a 19-year-old whose life is as inspiring as the ad.
“If you let other people define your limitations you’ll be limited forever,” Calabria says. “It really is all about attitude and the way that you approach your problems.”
Born with one leg, Nico quickly learned from his parents you can do, or miss out.
“They instilled in me this value that Nico you have one leg and there’s nothing really you can do about that,” he says. “So no use complaining, no use being upset about it, you just have to deal with it and kind of do the best you can.”
Related: Calabria Scores Highlight-Reel Goal
“I think it’s great that he makes having a disability a normal experience,” his mother Jeanine Calabria says. “I think if he were to try to bring more attention to himself because of his disability it wouldn’t be very authentic.”
His mother says it’s all Nico, but seeing it on TV brings it all home.
Watch: Nico’s Story
“I cried,” she says. “Not having seen that footage for over 18 years and then putting it all together in every step of the way to realize, oh my gosh, I cant believe how many stages of his life we wondered, ‘Oh could he do this? Can he do this?’ and then each time I would see the next part of the film it’s like, he did! he did!”
And Powerade thought so too. He’ll be the face of the product during the upcoming World Cup in Brazil showing off his differences to the entire world. And he couldn’t be more proud.
“I love playing soccer, and I didn’t let having one leg make that something I didn’t do,” Calabria says. “And I understand why people are inspired, and I’m glad that they are.”
Powerade says they reached out to local clubs and schools looking for players who were making an impact through soccer. They said the “There’s power in every game” campaign will be seen leading up to the World Cup in June. Nico will be flown to the cup to catch some games.
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