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Legally blind, and competing in the Paralympics

Kai Ryssdal Aug 29, 2012
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Legally blind, and competing in the Paralympics

Kai Ryssdal Aug 29, 2012
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The city of London threw another big party today to kick off the Paralympics. It’s a chance for athletes with a wide range of physical disabilities to show off their athleticism in sports like track & field, cycling, table tennis, and Judo.

Myles Porter is on the American judo team. He’s 27 years old and he’s legally blind. For Myles, that means he can see shapes from about 10 yards away, but he can’t recognize faces from that distance.

So how does a legally blind young man find himself competing in judo? It was a bit of a fluke. He dropped chemistry in college and found himself one credit short. A friend suggested judo.

Six years later, he’s now in London vying for the gold.

But with fewer eyes watching the Paralympics — at least in the United States — we wondered what that means for potential endorsement deals. Myles says the Paralympics has gained some big corporate sponsors in recent years. “The Paralympics is the second biggest sporting event in the world, behind the Olympics. The Paralympics is even bigger than the World Cup of soccer. That’s pretty cool if you think about it.”

Myles and his teammates compete on Saturday, Sept. 1.

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