Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Gearing up for the Olympics and Paralympics

Gearing up for the Olympics and Paralympics

With the Olympics and Paralympics coming up shortly, we wanted to learn more about all the Paralympic sports and plan to feature one sport and some of the outstanding athletes in upcoming weeks. The Outlook Trust in the UK, which provides adventure sports activity weekend breaks and holidays for blind and partially sighted children, has a complete list of all paralympic sports for visually impaired athletes and their classes visit the Outlook Trust website.

 Getting Out on the Water – Rowing

How Athletes Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired Can Make an Easy Transition to Rowing,” a Family Connect article, covers the history of rowing; how sighted rowers use eyes closed exercises in training; tips for getting connected to an adapted rowing program; and getting started on land. “Unlike so many other sports, there is no part of rowing that requires you to see what you’re doing,” so get started at this page on the APH site.

Patricia Walsh, who recently moved from leading a technology product management team at Dow Jones to Technology Product Manager at Facebook in London, was aiming for a berth on the U. S. 2020 Paralympic Rowing Team, when COVID-19 forced a rescheduling to 2021. She’s a multi-sports athlete who took seventh place in the 2016 Paralympic triathlon. She also met President Obama and asked him if he’d like to play basketball with her, even though she’d never played. Read all about Walsh and her two careers – in sports and technology – at Row New York. We expect to find her rowing on the Thames, if not in Tokyo this year.

IBSA, the International Blind Sports Association, calls itself the “home of blind sports”. Its home page has the latest news in blind sports, mostly from Europe and Asia. In addition to familiar sports like Judo, goalball, football (soccer), and powerlifting, their site includes information on both ninepin and tenpin bowling, chess and a sport that’s new to us, Showdown. Designed specifically for people with vision impairments, “The game is played on a specially designed table by two players from opposing sides using flat, paddle-type bats. The aim of the game is to bat the ball [which contains BB’s] off the side wall, along the table, under the centre screen, and into the opponent’s goal. The first player to reach eleven points, leading by two or more points, wins. Players score two points for a goal and one point when their opponent hits the ball into the screen, hits the ball off the table, or touches the ball with anything but the bat or batting hand.” Find complete information about Showdown, including player rankings and upcoming tournaments, check out the Showdown Overview and learn about other sports along the way.