12.02.2010

Once-blind bobsledder gets chance to go for gold

Once-blind bobsledder gets chance to go for gold

By Adrian Galbreth

One bobsledder has the chance to go for gold at the Winter Olympics, which start today, thanks to a simple procedure.

Steven Holcomb, 29, had a degenerative eye disease which meant that his eyesight rapidly deteriorated.

He kept up with the problem by changing his contact lenses every year, then every month, then every week until it became too much and he was forced to retire from his beloved sport, almost blind.

But after visiting a dozen specialists he met Brian Boxer Wachler – who suggested a simple procedure, not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Beverly Hills carried out the procedure, funded by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, which restored the bobsledder"s eyesight to 20-20.

His American team has since won the World Championships in 2009.

He told Philly.com: "Most drivers are meticulous about their visors, replacing them for every race. I"m trying to keep things toned down a bit. I can see better. But at times that"s overwhelming for me. Your brain needs time to adjust."

by Martin Burns


« Back to list