Steve Holcomb Encourages Blind Athletes to Take Part in Triathlons The New York City Triathlon featured many participants, but it also showcased the abilities of blind athletes who completed the race. Steve Holcomb, a gold medal Olympian, commends these individuals and discusses the struggles with blindness. Denver, CO (I- Newswire) August 29, 2012 - To the average American, the New York City Triathlon can seem like a harrowing challenge, as very few are able to complete the event that involves running, racing and biking. However, according to a recent article in The New York Times even athletes who have completely lost their eye sight rose to the challenge of this year's race. Alongside their guides, six blind athletes swam 0.93 miles, biked 24.8 miles and ran 6.2 miles. The article notes how difficult the triathlon can be for the blind, especially when they face sensory deprivation whilst swimming. Still, with proper training, these participants are able to succeed at a task that very few can be proud of. As a bobsledding champion who has struggled with vision problems in the past, Steve Holcomb relates to the impact blindness can make on an athletic career. Steve Holcomb reflects, "When I was going through my vision problems, I can't tell you how many times I struggled just getting across the room. I stubbed my toes, tripped countless times, and ran into desks more than I want to admit." While the blind athletes in this year's triathlon may have adjusted to living without vision throughout their ordinary environments, the race can present varying issues that require guidance from a trained professional. With no rewards to be had, these guides practice with the athletes to form physical strategies and communication tactics. Guide, Caroline Gaynor states in the article, "I think of myself as equipment. These are competent, capable people, and they don't want to have their hands held unless they need to. They wouldn't be racing with me unless they needed to have a guide. So I want to respect the amount of independence that they want, but also give as much as help as they need." The article notes that the pairs are connected by "bungee- like cords" that provide directional tugs should the athlete need them. During the biking portion of the race, partners use tandem bikes, which can present its own set of challenges regarding teamwork and balance. While working with a blind athlete does take preparation, the guides all express that they are motivated by these individual's willingness to succeed. Steven Holcomb comments, "For these athletes to get out there and do triathlons is incredible. It's so inspiring to watch them overcome their adversity, like it's not even there. I would love to be able to get out and watch these athletes compete. All of a sudden bobsledding doesn't seem so difficult." ABOUT: Steve Holcomb is an American bobsledding champion who helped the American bobsled team win a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, Canada. Prior to that success, Holcomb faced one of the most challenging problems in his life - overcoming the degenerative eye disease known as Keratoconus. Through an innovative treatment, known as C3- R, Steven Holcomb was able to restore his vision and remain committed to his passion for bobsledding. Before becoming a recognized athlete, Holcomb joined the Utah National Guard in 1999 and served honorably for seven years as a soldier and a combat engineer.
Additional Resources Company Contact Information: PR Authority Michael McGarety 10 W. Trade St. New York, NY 10005 Phone: 888-863-3776 Published in: Sports Tags: Steve Holcomb Steven Holcomb Steven Holcolm Olympics Published on: August 29, 2012 Original Source: Steve Holcomb Encourages Blind Athletes to Take Part in Triathlons