TYLER (KYTX) - Where there's a "Will," there's a way! That is certainly true for 8 year old Will Butts from Tyler. He was born without ankles or feet and just did something remarkable. Will set a national record at the Endeavor Games in the long jump, which serves as a reminder that our only true limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves.
The Endeavor Games at the University of Central Oklahoma allows athletes with physical disabilities to participate in a number of sporting events. Will took his competitive nature to the Olympic like games to compete in a number of events, including swimming, track and field, and archery.
You can qualify to go to nationals and its fun and you get to see people who were there last year and you get to compete," said Will Butts.
Will has been training with his coach, Joseph Dappen who is constantly amazed by his strength, skills and something you cannot teach.... "He has the heart," said Joseph Dappen. "No matter what he is feeling. I have never gotten that he is tired actually. He is always eager and ready to jump in."
Speaking of jumping, Will achieved something pretty incredible at the Endeavor Games. He takes the mantra, "Where there's a Will, there's a way" seriously, even sporting it on his running blades. His mom Katie had many proud moments during the games, but was shocked and excited when she realized what happened in long jump. "He said William we are going to have to fill out this paperwork, you have just broken the national record," said Katie Butts.
"It was 1.94 meters," Will said.
"And we were just like what? We were in shock! So instantly I texted Joseph. Will needs to FaceTime you," Katie said.
Joseph said of the moment, "It's so inspiring. It made me emotional just hearing him talk about that and seeing the joy on his face that he had done something amazing."
The accomplishments didn't stop there. This former CMN Miracle Child took home 3 gold medals and 4 silver medals.
His sister Ellie also took home a medal in archery. As you can imagine, his mom was overwhelmed by the experience for her children and what they learned about competition along the way.
"There was a kiddo doing his best. He was dead last and it was very emotional, but he was going to finish and finish strong. We were cheering him on and we turned around and couldn't find Will," Katie said. Will had run all the way to the finish line to be with that kid and he high-fived him and said good job."
That moment turned out to be the proudest for Will's mom, not even 7 medals and a national record could compare.