Meet these blind athletes that will motivate you to get moving
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the winter Olympics are going on now in Sochi, Russia. Growing up, I loved the winter Olympics. My favorite sport to watch was figure skating. It was a pastime I enjoyed with my mama. But now that I can no longer see, the Olympics on TV have dropped on my list of enjoyable activities. But since they only happen once every four years, I figured I should try to have some idea of what’s going on, so this past week, I’ve tuned in my television to the Olympics, if only to listen to the sportscasters narrate the competition.
I do wish I could see the snowboarding sports though. I used to live in L.A., which must explain my fondness for surfers. And the winter alternative to a surfer is a snowboarder. And ever since I picked up snowboarding, my affinity for the sport has grown.
There’s no doubt these Olympians are great athletes. Every time I “watch” the Olympics, I turn to the hubster and say, “If I were to win a medal, I’d wear that thing all the time, everywhere I go.” I am reminded of Brad Snyder, the blind gold medalist of Paralympic swimming. And Brad isn’t the only one out there playing hard despite vision loss. Here are more vision impaired athletes for inspiration.
There’s Marla Runyan, the first blind athlete to compete in the Olympics; Derek Rabelo, a blind surfer; and Mark Anthony Riccobono, a blind NASCAR driver. All can be found on this list of 7 amazing blind people, along with yours truly. These people make me strive to be a better version of myself, to have no excuses to get more fit, to learn to surf one day, to have hope that we vision impaired folks may eventually drive again. And speaking of driving, Stuart Gunn is a blind biker who set the world record for speed.
But you don’t have to be a medalist, a world record setter, or visually impaired to have the courage to get out there and live fearlessly, play hard, and just do it.. Know any visually impaired athletes, or are you one yourself? What sort of challenges or taboos do blind athletes face? What needs to be done or changed in order to encourage more vision impaired people to take up sports?