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Life of a High Level Athlete

One of my favorite things is sports

My name is Emilee and I am visually impaired. I have 20/200 vision and extreme light sensitivity, but that has never stopped me from doing anything that I wanted to do. I have been a contestant for Miss teenage Canada, driven a car, started my own social media campaign, and even done some traveling. However, one of my favorite things is sports.

Recreational Sports

When I was 7 or 8 I started participating in gymnastics. After many years of progressing my skills, I then moved onto becoming a gymnastics coach which I did for 4 years. I also enjoy skating, swimming, skiing, and LOVE walking. But somehow yet I had still not found my calling.

Curling

It wasn’t until high school that I really started to put all my energy somewhere. That somewhere? CURLING! I joined my school's curling team and they could not have been more accommodating and supportive. I use a close skip and curled in competition for four years. We even got Silver at the Central Ontario Secondary School Championships. It was the first real sport that I fell in love with.

Goalball

Eventually, I had to move on though. Next, GOALBALL. Goalball is a sport specifically designed for athletes who are blind. I started playing this in elementary school when one of my teachers purchased goalball equipment for gym class. I even created a goalball club in high school to teach it to others. Last year, I played in the Provincial Championships and was even selected to play on the Junior National Team as a part of Team Ontario, and we won Bronze! I still play goalball at this level and hope to continue, for as long as I can.

Para-Cycling

Just this year, I discovered my passion for tandem cycling. I race on a velodrome track. I think it is such a unique sporting opportunity and am so glad that I found it. I raced in 6 races for the Youth Development series and then proceeded to compete in Provincial Championships. I won gold in both my races and put downtimes that qualified me for Nationals. I have a good feeling about the result for that as well when it does happen. I also plan to continue cycling. And of course, a big shout out goes to all of the pilots. We literally cannot do this without you.

Training

As you can imagine, training for an athlete at this level can be quite intense. I have four bike practices each week, I swim 2-3 times a week for cardio/insurance, balance a goalball practice or two in there and add on all of life’s regular tasks. It’s a lot of work but I wouldn't change any of it.

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Hey! My name is Emilee and I’m legally blind! I was born with a retinal disease called Cone Dystrophy and nystagmus (shaking eyes). Plus, I am very light-sensitive, so my sunglasses are my best friends (all 10 pairs of them). Some people see a disability as a bad thing but I love mine. ❤️

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