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Must see: Quadruple amputee Jorge Dyksen shines in soccer
- Updated: April 14, 2014
It’s a typical spring day in North Haledon, N.J., and the Manchester Regional High School freshmen soccer team is just finishing one of their track runs.
But coach Daniel Sanchez noticed some of his young players were holding back.
Then they see junior Jorge Dyksen, a starting forward for the junior varsity team, running a quick sprint and killing it.
That inspired the freshmen, Sanchez tells Thrive Sports.
“ ‘I can’t believe he can run that fast,’ ” Sanchez recalls freshmen telling him. ” ‘Maybe I should try that much harder.’ “
What makes Jorge so special is that he is a quadruple-amputee sprinting on two prosthetic legs who doesn’t let his circumstances define him.
In fact, he embraces each and every day with a positive attitude, something that Sanchez truly appreciates.
“He’s one of those guys that, no matter what can go on throughout the day, what may be going on in his life personally, he comes in and always has a smile on his face,” says Sanchez.
“It makes my job that much easier.”
When Jorge was about one and half, he had an infection that required amputation of both his hands and feet.
Shortly thereafter, he left his home in Panama and came to the United States through an organization called Healing The Children New Jersey.
There he met his host family, the Dyksens, who cared for him over the years and eventually adopted Jorge last year.
“They asked them (John and Faye Dyksen) if they could take me in,” Jorge tells Thrive Sports.
“It took a while, but they said yes they would. They’re nice people,” Jorge says. “They have five kids, all married. We all get along.”
Jorge studies and lives in North Haledon with the Dyksens and returns to visit his birth family in Panama during school breaks.
It was in his home country where Jorge started playing soccer.
“Hey Coach Sanchez, guess what?” says Jorge unsuspectingly.
“I’m going to be playing soccer with you.”
Coach Sanchez’s first reaction was of disbelief and wonder.
“Really? You really play soccer? Really? I can’t see that,” he recalls.
If “Seeing is believing,” then Coach Sanchez is now a believer.
“It’s just been great. Every day, also being a new teacher, it’s been intriguing just to be able to see him throw a football,” Sanchez says.
“It’s tough to visualize so just being able to see it is incredible.”
What motivates Jorge to do these incredible things?
He shared with Thrive Sports that Nick Vujicic is his biggest inspiration.
Vujicic is an Australian Christian evangelist born with a rare disorder called Tetra-amelia Syndrome that is characterized by the absence of all four limbs.
“He has no arms or legs as well and seeing him do what he can do inspires me to keep doing things,” Jorge says.
Next season Jorge wants to play at the varsity level, help the team win, and score more goals than he did last year, when he got one.
He will go to his senior prom next year but does confess he doesn’t have a girlfriend… yet.
When asked what is one thing that people would be surprised to know about him Jorge says, “I am also on the bowling team at MRHS and it’s an activity I enjoy doing in my spare time.”
As you can see Jorge is a (self-proclaimed) jokester so we asked him for his best.
“What is a soccer player’s favorite drink?
As for his post-high school plans, Jorge wishes to attend a two-year college and see what unfolds.
In the meantime, he wouldn’t mind checking off a couple of items on his bucket list — travel to Japan to learn about their culture and visit Spain to watch is favorite team, FC Barcelona.
But his ultimate goal is to become a motivational speaker like Vujicic and Jorge seems to be on the right track.
Ever since the film crews have been coming by, Jorge has been enjoying celebrity-like status at school. Yet everyone still sees him as normal, something that you wouldn’t expect being in his situation.
“He’s now a popular kid and everyone sees how the way he presents himself in the locker room to his teammates is the same way he presents himself at school,” Sanchez says. “Jorge is a person whose enthusiasm seems to put everyone in a better mood. He lets people know that everyday is a blessing and we should enjoy it.
“To me, he’s a role model for the school.”
Jorge, of course, wraps up his conversation with Thrive Sports with one last joke.
“So when people get a concussion people say they can’t think right,” he says. “I look at my hand and ask them, ‘How many fingers am I holding up?’ ”
Check him out in action, in the video below:
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