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Lifelong journey for Yankton native Miles Krajewski leads to Paralympics

MITCHELL, S.D. (KELO) — A Yankton High School student is making big moves in the local, national and worldwide stage of sports.

Miles Krajewski has brought home state titles for basketball and tennis.

“Growing up, I was playing sports around the house and in the community. Whenever my sister was playing soccer, I was playing, just kicking the ball on the side with my dad. And then I eventually was old enough to play youth sports. So I played as many as I could,” Miles said.

The 18 year old has always had a love for sports…

“I was born with the most common form of dwarfism, achondroplasia, which is a most common form. That means our bones form at a much slower rate, along with being shorter, and then our legs bow out. Because our hips are built a little bit different,” Miles said.

But that has never stopped him from competing.

“I found the LPA, which is a Little People of America, hosted conference every year along with DAAA, which is Dwarf Athletic Association of America. They have a conference for a week long together….I’ve been going to them since I was four years old. So I found my group of people through that way,” Miles said.

Throughout the years, he’s competed in an array of sports like golf, hockey, swimming, basketball and tennis. For the last four years, he’s competed with his brother, Harrison, on the Yankton High School Tennis team.

“He’s a great teammate. He’s pretty much the comedian of the team. Messes around with our coach a lot. He’s a good teammate; he usually gets us the win, when we need it the most,” brother Harrison Krajewski said.

Miles sports journey began in 2013. It was then, he found love for a new game.

“That happened to be the World Dwarf games so that was the first year that I can play all the sports so I signed up for all of them. And I fell in love with badminton…My first (badminton) tournament was in Northern Ireland in 2016. And after that tournament, I just fell in love and wanted to start working harder and hopefully reach the goal of making the Paralympics,” Miles said.

Miles continued to travel, competing in badminton championships around the world. In the last 10 years, he’s traveled to 18 counties.

Earlier this year, Miles found out his dream was finally coming true: he’ll be competing in the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games in August.

“I’m pretty pumped for the trip to Paris, since it’s always been a lifelong dream of making the Paralympics and representing Team USA as well as South Dakota and Yankton,” Miles said.

Miles will finish out the tennis season for high school and will begin his training in Omaha full time this summer.

“He’s been training a lot. Putting in all these hours of training just to make it to the Paralympics; it’s cool,” Harrison said.

Miles says he’s continued to push himself to get to the Paralympics; he’s hopeful he can bring home a medal.

“I’ve taken much of the summers off to train full time pretty much and not been around my friends and family as much as I would have liked…I have finally accomplished what I’ve been striving for. It means a whole lot, especially with the support that my family and friends and coaches have helped me with,” Miles said.

Miles plans to study business administration at USD in the fall.

The 2024 Paris Paralympic Games will take place on August 28 through September 8.

Image Courtesy: AP

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