"I feel that yes I've come along way with staying in shape," said Jonathan. "Not many people can do that especially with a physical disability to overcome."

Jonathan was born without hands or feet. He was adopted from Croatia when he was a little more than a year old.

"He's a child who sees that he is just like everybody else," said Linn Heider, Jonathan's mother.

"I used to tell people that there's hardly anything he cannot do and it's true."

Jonathan learned how to swim as a child and starting competing at age 11.

"I like to be more independent. I don't like really being in a wheelchair or things that'll slow me down. I like just being myself without prosthetics or a wheelchair or anything like that, and that's one of the sports that I can do that with," said Jonathan.

Although Jonathan has more than 30 medals, he's not quitting anytime soon. His goal is to compete on the 2012 U.S. Paralympics team.

"I think competition-wise I want to see the world by swimming and try to beat down some of these better international athletes that are still ranked higher than I am," said Jonathan.

And it's something his swim coach thinks he can do.

"I hope we can make it and I say we because I want to be a part of that," said Dave Korst, Jonathan's coach and director of competitive swimming at the Green Bay YMCA. "I want to help to push him everyday to help him do things that are going to make him swim faster and keep him motivated, get him the right competition that we can get him in the state and we'll get him there."

"It began as protecting him in the water so he could survive if he would accidentally fall in or something," Linn says of her son's swimming. "And we've just encouraged him to go as far as he can go with it, because it's a life long skill."

Jonathan Heider has also competed in sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. He tells us he is ranked 9th in the world in the 50 meter free style competition."


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