At 24, Kelly Bruno is a little bit older than the other ball girls working at the US Open. She also happens to be quite attractive, as you can tell from her Web site. But neither of these facts is what makes her stand out from the rest of the ball girls as much as this: Bruno is an amputee.
Kelly has taken on the job as ball girl as a way to raise awareness about what disabled athletes and non-athletes can accomplish. And to say that her story is quite impressive is an understatement.
From the NEW YORK TIMES:
Bruno was born with several defects in her right leg and has been an amputee since she was 6 months old. By 18, she had turned herself into a track star among disabled athletes, with her own sponsorship deals. And as a world-class triathlete and Ironman competitor, she has raced in some of the most grueling events on the planet.
How good of a triathlete is she? She’s not only competing with able-bodied athletes in elite competitions, but doing quite well against them: She finished third in this year’s International Triathlon Union World Championships.
Bruno did not receive any special treatment - she had to compete against 400 other people for one of the 75 available ball girl/ball boy spots. And Open officials have said she’s one of the best ball girls at the tournament, her natural athletic ability and competitiveness making up for her “advanced” age - and the fact that, you know, she’s missing a freakin’ leg.
As if she didn’t have enough on her plate, she’s doing all this while applying to medical school. All of which makes me, well, hate her. How am I supposed to justify not going to the gym for a full week because “my allergies were really bad” when she’s doing all of this without a leg? Someone should send her over to the USC football team to remind them that rising up in the face of adversity means more than overcoming a crippling case of jock itch.