Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teen's Desire Races into View Blind Sprinter Could Bring Home Gold

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teen's Desire Races into View Blind Sprinter Could Bring Home Gold

Article excerpt

ST. AUGUSTINE -- Four years ago, Tom Parrigin spotted a blind

teenager standing on a sidewalk near a dorm at the Florida

School for the Deaf and Blind.

"Anybody out there?" the teen yelled. "Anyone there?"

When no one answered, he took off, sprinting 15 to 20 yards on

a sidewalk that connects two dorms. He then did it again, and

again, and again.

Parrigin watched quietly from a distance and liked what he saw.

"It was that acceleration," he recalled recently. "He was a

natural."

Although members of the school's track team were preparing for

a meet in Miami, Parrigin signed up the freshman from

Jacksonville.

There was no time to teach him how to start the 100- and

200-meter dash from the starting block. The teenager would have

to begin each race standing up.

Turns out that didn't matter.

"He just blew everybody away," Parrigin said.

In the four years since, not much has changed. Marvin Campbell,

now 19, continues to blow away his competition.

He's the three-time defending Penn Relay Champion in the

100-meter dash and has won the United States Association for

Blind Athletes 100-meter championship the past three years. In

May, he qualified for the Paralympic Games in the 100- and

200-meter dashes.

"He's the fastest totally blind person in the United States,"

Parrigin said. "He's within .2 seconds of the [100-meter] world

record [of 11.2 seconds]."

But Campbell has one problem that could hinder his Paralympics

training: He's too fast for the guides who tie themselves to

blind runners and steer them around the track.

Not a bad problem for a sprinter who was born three months

premature, blind in his left eye because of a twisted optic

nerve and with limited vision in his right eye. In 1990, he lost

the vision in his right eye after three operations failed to

reattach his retina. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.