Tag Archives: diversity

Blind Gymnast – Lola Walters


blind gymnastAs parents, we want our children to be happy and safe and we hope that they will succeed in life. Where do we draw the line between keeping them safe and allowing them to blossom?

What would you say if your child were legally blind and wanted to do gymnastics?

That is what the parents of Lola Walters had to decide. Lola is a USA Gymnastics Level 6 gymnast which means that she does handspring vaults, jumps to the high bar and “fly aways” on bars, back walkovers and leaps on beam and she is legally blind. She has a condition called nystagmus that limits her vision, causes her eyes to flutter, allows no depth perception, and often causes double vision.

Usually athletes can see what is in front of them… whether it is a vault or a bar or an opponent. In Lola’s case, she has not idea what is in front of her until she is about five feet away from it because she is legally blind. You can see this blind gymnast in action on Youtube.

Lola’s mom said, “She can see. It’s just that what is in front of her constantly moves and she can not judge distances or focus.”

Lola’s coach is quoted as saying, “She works twice as hard as everybody else and I’ve seen her fall harder than anybody, and she’ll get up and go again, every single time.”

Blind Gymnast

This amazing young woman sees her disability in a very different way from the way most of us would see it. She said, “Most people I compete with don’t know I am any different from them, and as far as I’m concerned it can stay that way. If they don’t know, they don’t need to score me differently.”

Lola has been a gymnast since she was three years old. It wasn’t until after Lola was enrolled in gymnastics that her mother understood just how
bad her vision was. By that time, she was already a good gymnast.

“I don’t know what it would be like to do gymnastics with perfect vision,” “so really, I don’t see a difference.”Had her mother held her back in fear of her getting hurt, Lola would not be where she is today. We already know about out Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas. Gabby met Lola and said, “This is such an amazing moment for me. I am star struck. Lola, you are truly incredible. This truly shows what a mind can do. If you love something and have a passion for something, you won’t let anything stop you. You are amazing.”

So parents, back to my original question, Where do we draw the line between keeping them safe and allowing them to blossom?

Lola Walters is our newest hero.

Dare to Live

This post is about life and about giving whatever it is that you have to give. It is meant to say, “Please” to those who haven’t yet and “Thank you” to those who have and to those who will… GIVE!
Thanks to Andrea Bocelli

Dare to Live

Try looking at tomorrow not yesterday
And all the things you left behind
All those tender words you did not say
The gentle touch you couldn’t find
In these days of nameless faces
There is no one truth but only pieces
My life is all I have to give
Dare to live until the very last
Dare to live forget about the past
Dare to live giving something of yourself to others
Even when it seems there’s nothing more left to give
Dare to live searching for the ones you love
Dare to live no one but we all
Dare to live until the very last
Your life is all you have to give
Dare to live until the very last
Your life is all you have to give 
I will say no-I will say yes
Say… Dare to Give!
 

Dare to Give

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John Hudson Dilgen – A Boy

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Suggestion Boxes

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Just an Innocent and Loving Child: Adalia Rose

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What Is Autism?

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