A common symptom of Down syndrome is a degree of intellectual impairment. But when Italian teenager Valerio Catoia, who lives with the condition, saw two girls struggling out at sea, he knew what it meant. They were in danger. And he knew what he needed to do. So he dived in and fought to save them.
Catoia is much like many other teenage boys. In his third year of high school, he was studying human sciences, possibly because of his love of sports. You see, as well as being a member of a scout group, Catoia loves taking part in athletics. But there’s one sport he has a particular passion for.
Above everything else – even his hobby of playing guitar – Catoia loves to swim. He learned to swim when he was just three years old. His family encouraged him to do so to strengthen his muscles and survive in the water, because there was something that set him apart from other kids.