HOUSTON, TEXAS – We traveled to Houston, TX for the Prodigy All Stars Showcase over the weekend of November 3rd and 4th, 2018. A program full out stand-out athletes and rising stars, we were greeted with high-performance routines throughout the event… and then we spotted athlete Julianna Linton.
Julianna was born with amniotic band syndrome. Her mother Kathleen explains, “it is a rare condition that occurs when an unborn baby becomes entangled in fibrous amniotic bands in the wound.” Julianna had her left arm amputated above the elbow, before she was born.
Julianna’s Cheerleading Career:
Julianna began all star cheerleading as a prep cheerleader. After completing three years of all star prep, she moved to a competitive team. Now in her 3rd season as a competitive cheerleader at Prodigy All Stars, she is 13 years old and competing with Blizzard, the program’s Senior Level 2 team.
Julianna explains that cheerleading is a very competitive and challenging sport, and doing it with one arm makes it even more challenging. Julianna says, “I often have to find my own way of doing things, like kicking a scorpion and catching it with one hand, or holding a heel stretch in the air without having a hand to grab it.” Moreover, Julianna and her mother explain, “tumbling with one arm puts a lot more strain on the body, so she has to work harder to perfect her skills.”
In Julianna’s mind, “she hasn’t had to overcome anything” in terms of obstacles “because this is just who she is.” Julianna and Mom say, she doesn’t see herself differently than her teammates and doesn’t ask for special treatment. They add, “the coaches don’t treat her differently, either. Whatever they ask the team to do, Julianna is expected to do as well.” Mom adds, “she has confidence and determination to do her best for herself and for the team.”
Over the years, Julianna has grown her skills to include solid running and standing tumbling passes that include:
– Standing Back Walkover
– Standing Back Handspring
– Front Walkover
– Roundoff Back Handspring
Julianna says, one of the most empowering moments realized by her journey in this sport was realizing “there are other kids like her.” She summarized and added, “she hopes they see that if they give their best efforts like she does, that there is no limit to what can be accomplished.” As for Julianna, she’s set her sights on being the most well rounded asset to her team this year as she seeks to win the NCA All Star National Championship for the second time!
Julianna was fortunate to be the recipient of a prosthetic arm by the Limbitless Solutions organization based out of the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF cheer team presented her with the arm, and spent the day visiting and stunting with her during a visit to her home state of Texas for an away football game in which she attended.
Learn more about Prodigy All Stars by visiting them online.
Learn more about the Limbitless Solution organization by visiting them online.
Cover Photo Credit: Universal Event Photography