Fifteen triathletes from across the U.S. who are blind and visually impaired are participating in the first-ever “No Sight, No Limits” USA Blind Triathlete High Performance Camp. The camp is taking place at the Chula Vista Elite Training Center, formerly the Olympic Training Center.
“The goal of the camp is for each participant to develop specific skills like gaining speed, confidence and precision,” said the camp’s director Amy Dixon.
Dixon, a member of Team USA Paratriathlete, knows the vision issues campers are dealing with and the obstacles they need to overcome. Dixon has lost 98% of her vision due to a rare type of Uveitis (an inflammatory eye disease).
So how does Dixon think these campers are doing?
“It’s been eye opening, pardon the pun, but I’ve been inspired. The name of the camp is No Sight, No Limits and just because you have vision loss doesn’t mean you can’t do anything you want.“ said Dixon.
Of the fifteen campers, 10 are completely blind, 2 are have partial vision loss and 3 are blind and deaf.
“To see how they communicate with their guides through a type of sign language called Pro-Tactile is amazing. Blind and deaf athletes have to sign on their guides back on the tandem bike, or on their shoulder when swimming. It shows that there are really no barriers for any type of vision impairment,” said Dixon.
The campers range from the ages of 22 to 64, some are training for shorter distance triathlons, while others are training for the Ironman. The athletes come to learn, get better and be motivated.
Blind and deaf triathlete Patrick Vellia said, “The camp is amazing. There are no boundaries for us, there’s no physical limitation for us, if anyone has limitations, then it’s in your mind.”
Sarah Morrison said, “I just want everyone to know that deaf, blind athletes can run, swim and bike. We can do anything if we set our mind to it. If you set a goal, you can do it, don’t be scared. There are no limits, especially at this camp.”
Morrison said this camp has inspired her so much that she’s thinking about doing an Ironman Triathlon.
The camp is entirely funded by private donations. All involved say they’d like the “No Sight, No Limits” Triathlete camp become an annual event.