Visually-impaired sports

Adaptive Rowing

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Naomi Riches is an adaptive rower who was part of the British mixed coxed four team that won gold at London in 2012. She describes the growth of the relatively new Paralympic sport of adaptive rowing here.

Naomi describes the final on Dorney Lake in London 2012 here


"Judo lends itself to a visual impairment because it's tactile. You don't 'do' judo until you've got hold of each other, so it's perfect for somebody like me whose got bad eyes. At the beginning we stand about three or feet apart and it's quite difficult, but as soon as we get hold of each other, that playing field is dead level - and I can beat everybody. Simon Jackson

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Simon Jackson talks about judo as a sport for the visually impaired here

Simon describes winning his first judo gold at Seoul  in 1988 when he was just 16 here

"Within three months the teasing stopped... I now had this new confidence, this new self-esteem, I wanted to be Ian again. I liked myself because I'd found something I was good at." Ian Rose, on being introduced to judo, aged 7

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Ian Rose won the Judo World Championships in 1995 as well as taking bronze at the Atlanta and silver at the Sydney Games. He talks about the importance of judo in developing his self confidence and identity as a visually-impaired person here

Guided Running

""I said, 'Darren, I'm gonna shut up,'cos we're gonna take this guy by surprise', and we overtook him on the bend coming into the last lap and won the race." James Brown, on running as a guide

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James Brown won gold as a visually-impaired runner at New York in 1984. He also coached and acted as a guide runner for Darren Cook, a completely blind middle-distance runner, when he took three gold medals at the World Youth Games for the Disabled at St Etienne in the 1980s, which he still considers his greatest sporting achievement and describes here  


"Two points I absolutely remember, touching those Omega time pads, and knowing that I'd won, was such a brilliant feeling." Chris Holmes at Barcelona

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Chris Holmes swam at four Paralympics, starting at Seoul in 1988 through to Sydney in 2000. In 1992 at Barcelona he pulled off the extraordinary feat of winning six golds; he describes that achievement here

This page was added on 13/11/2013.

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