Sunday, January 24, 2010

Olympic and Paralympic Athlete

Many athletes strive to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic games, on Friday Brian McKeever dream came true. He is competing not only in the 2010 Olympic games, but also in the 2010 Paralympic games. He is the first Canadian athlete to participate in both the Winter Olympic and Paralympic in February and March. The thirty year old native from Canmore, Alberta has Stargardt's disease; he has less than ten percent vision. He is apart of the Canadian Cross Country team and is hoping to medal in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He has won seven medals in previous Paralympic games, including four gold medals. His message to the world is, "It's a message of hope for the Paralympics. In the past, the Paralympic has been seen as a slideshow, not by the athletes but just in terms of the attention that it gets. Hopefully this shows that Paralympic athletes are capable of great things and they're training to the same levels ant the same kind of hours and efforts as their able-bodied counterparts are doing."

Brian has peripheral vision, but none in the centre due to Stargardt's disease which he was diagnosed in his early twenties. He says,"It's like seeing the donut, but not the Timbit" When he competes with able-bodied he finds an athlete with the same ability and then use the athlete as a guide. When competing in the Paralympic his brother Robin as his guide. His condition gives him a disadvantage in white out conditions down the ski hill.

Brain is very optimistic about winning medals at the Olympic and Paralympic games this year. He is inspiring to everybody who has a dream to be an world class athlete. He said, "It show if you dream big dreams, you can get there no matter what"

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