Watch Amazing Legally Blind Gymnast Lola Walters In Action
Even more so than other things in life, gymnastics is going to be a lot harder when you can’t see. But that hasn’t stopped legally blind Lola Walters from becoming a star gymnast.
The 13-year-old suffers from nystagmus, a condition that leaves her with double vision and no depth perception. While that would seem to disqualify her from participating in a sport with so many fast moving parts, most judges and opponents have no idea Walters can’t see any of the equipment she is using until it almost smacks up against her face.
In fact, her teammates don’t always know. And when they learn, they are mighty impressed.
I think about what I do because she’s doing the exact same thing, and I think about doing it with my eyes shut and I would be scared to death,” teammate Madeline Becker told ABC News.
As for Walters, whose vision has been compromised ever since she started with gymnastics, it’s all just second nature. “I don’t know what it would be like to do gymnastics with perfect vision,” Walters explained. “So really, I don’t see a difference.”
Walters does fall more than the typical gymnast, but is always quick to get up. Her skills are such that she recently attended one of famed instructive Béla Károlyi’s gymnastic camps. The other campers didn’t know she was blind, and, true to form, she didn’t tell anybody. The amazing gymnast wants to be judged on her own merits.