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Paralympic hopeful training in Colorado

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LAFAYETTE, WALKER COUNTY (WRCB) -- A North Georgia teenager, who's well on his way to making a slot on Team USA's Paralympic Nordic Ski Team, is training in Brekenridge, Colorado.

So far, Caleb Stallings' father James says that Caleb has exceeded all expectations, and it didn't take long for him to do so.

James also says he loves Colorado but not the elevation.

"You can't breathe, sucking for wind, nauseous, headaches," he says.

"Man this elevation is kicking my tail," James adds. "Now Caleb, it hasn't bothered him at all, he picked right up and put his heart and soul into it."

Just as the elevation wasn't a factor for Caleb, his first time on ski's wasn't either.

Monday, Caleb strapped on ski's for the first time ever to train with Paralympic coaches.

How did he do? As expected.

"The coaches say he's a natural, he takes to it like a duck on water," James says. "They said he shouldn't have the balance and strength he has, with that high of an injury."

Shocking, yes, but then again James knows Caleb too well to think he wouldn't have progressed at such a fast rate.

"With Caleb, nothing shocks me anymore," he says. "If he puts his mind to it, and heart to it, he's going to accomplish it, and that's what he's done here."

All this and the first of two training weeks isn't over. Caleb has already proven he cannot just ski the Nordic cross course, or consistently knock down targets, but he can do it at the highest level there is.

In January, Caleb will head to Wisconsin to compete in a world championship event. From there he'll compete in as many as he can before the Paralympic Trials in 2013.

"We've talked in the past, about this opening up doors for Caleb," James says. "Being up here this week, watching him progress daily, and talking to the coaches, it seems that door just keeps getting wider and taller."

"He's still the same Caleb, he just wants to do it to be an inspiration to others," says James.

  • [READ MORE: Local paraplegic teen beating odds to make 2014 Paralympics]
  • [READ MORE: Local teen inching closer to 2014 Paralympics]
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