DENVER (CBS4) – A tiny girl is going to great lengths. She’ll be swimming in the World Games this summer. For Mia Towl, it’s not all about the competition; the young lady is also hoping to finally fit in.
Mia has been splashing around ever since she was a baby. She inherited her parents’ love of water. Swimming is her sport, and swimming is her escape.
“It just makes me feel free — free from all the bad things that have happened,” Mia told CBS4’s Kathy Walsh.
Mia was born with a form of dwarfism. At nearly 9 years old, she is roughly 3 feet tall and 40 pounds, soaking wet. She says a lot of people will stare at her, but she just ignores it. Everywhere Mia goes, she’s a curiosity.
“Mia loves to ski, but we might be stopped 50 times going down the slope to ask how old she is,” Mia’s mother Lyssa Towl said. “So is that enjoyable? Not at all.”
So Mia finds peace in the pool. Her coach keeps her challenged, but her mother sees a child yearning for a chance.
“My daughter has the soul of a competitor and no one to compete against,” Lyssa said.
This August, that will change. For the first time ever Mia will compete on an even playing field. She’ll swim for the U.S. in the junior division of the World Dwarf Games.
“I don’t care if she wins or loses. I want her to have the experience with other little people her age that enjoy a sport,” Lyssa said.
“I just want to show who I am and be who I am,” Mia said.
Mia will be one of 500 participating. She’s never seen that many little people and she’s worried she might be the one who is staring. But she’s excited to dive in.
“I want to get from that experience — joy. Joy that I was happy to be there and I’m happy to swim and just be happy,” Mia said.
Mia asks that people never refer to her with the “M” word. She prefers to be called a “little person.” Better yet, just a person.
LINK: World Dwarf Games