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Paralympian Joel Gomez Prepares for Tokyo and College

Track and field athlete Joel Gomez made it through the Paralympic trials in Minneapolis and will head to Tokyo on August 11th as a member of Team USA in this year’s Paralympics. Born with blue cone monochromacy, a rare genetic condition that affects the retina, Gomez has been legally blind and severely color blind since he was born. He has dealt with – and overcome – challenges in achieving success on the track and in academia. Gomez, who lives in Encinitas, CA, cannot distinguish the features of someone a few feet away, for example. In school, he struggled to read the whiteboard, being unable to see the blue on white, having to “explain to the teacher, use a black marker please. Trust me, it’s more difficult than just asking.”  In his athletic pursuits, he has represented his country as a member of the US Paralympic Track and Field Team in Switzerland, Peru and Dubai, “earning two gold medals and one silver medal in the 1500m and 400m events.” In Tokyo, Gomez will run a preliminary race on August 30. “The 1500 finals – which he’s confident of making – are the next day.” After Tokyo, he will begin college at Purdue University in the fall, where he plans to study industrial engineering. His academic achievements have also been recognized with a scholarship from Lighthouse Guild, as reported in The Coast News article “Encinitas Paralympian earns scholarship, prepares for Tokyo Games.” Read more about this young athlete’s Paralympics achievements and goals in the Times of San Diego: “Gomez is Tokyo-Bound…”