Legally Blind Archer Is Favorite To Win 2012 London Olympics Gold Medal
26-year-old Im Dong-Hyun is legally blind in both eyes and is unable to read the newspaper at arm’s-length, yet despite his horrid vision he is the favorite to win the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Four years ago in Beijing the archer won the team event at only 18-years-old and his followers say he has only gotten better.
Dong-Hyun has only 20/200 vision in his left eye which means he must be 10 times closer to an object to see it clearly when compared to someone with 20/20 vision. The world-class archer also only has 20/100 vision in his other eye.
Despite what some people call a handicap the world-class athlete says of his situation:
“I don’t have a stick, I don’t have a blind dog. It’s unpleasant when people say I’m disabled. All this interest in my sight is not welcome.”
The most amazing part of his archery talent? The targets he is aiming at look like paint that has run together in the rain, different colors that blur into a single target. Im Dong-Hyun says he simply relies on “feel” to pick out the bright colors and choose his target.
The London Olympian says he has tried to use glasses in the past but they made him feel uncomfortable and actually hurt his performance.
This is the archers third attempt at a gold medal in an individual attempt and if all the colors run together for him just right he could claim the victory while seeing only 10 percent of what his fellow athletes can see, now that would be a vision to behold.