Monday, February 23, 2009

Bobsledder makes good

Perhaps you’re wunderin’ why I’m scribblin’ about bobsledding... Whale, after all it is winter, eh? And this piece, albeit from Jeffy’s favourite fish wrap; the USA Today was of keen interest to me, since I’m a visually impaired hack. (NO, nuttin’ to due with my Vurd Botherin’ skeels which have been finley honed over duh years...)

You see... (Pun intended!) I was unaware of the fact that TEAM USA’s best bobsledding hope for medal contention is also visually impaired, as Steven Holcomb, who at 28yrs old has recently had experimental eye surgery in order to save his diminishing eyesight, as he suffers from keratoconus, and his 20/500 vision could no longer be corrected with contacts, while apparently he cannot use prescription glasses while driving... As I’m guessing this has something to do with fogging?

For USA, bobsledding world title in sight
Having voiced his concerns to Brian Shimer; Team USA’s Bobsledding Director, Shimer had no idea just how bad Holcomb’s vision was.

Brian Shimer:
“I think he's gotten to where he is because he doesn't rely on eyesight as much as feel of where he needs to be,"

"Things happen so fast that vision isn't really clear a lot of times anyway. … People would come down, and they'd be complaining about the fog or the snow. You'd ask Steve, and he'd go, 'I don't know what they're talking about. It was fine for me.' "

After consulting with Dr. Scott Stoll, a former bobsledder turned doctor, Shimer subsequently told Holcomb about a new surgery where contacts are implanted behind the irises. Although the surgery could potentially lead to future blindness, Holcomb was willing to take the risk...

I especially enjoy the part about now having to use a scuffed ‘N dirty face shield to limit his new crystal clear (HD) vision as he’s seeing competitor’s sled tracks on course for the very first time!
Holcomb takes Bronze in New York “World’s”