Talk about guts


Hurtling through the dark: Blind skier races up to 70 mph

There are so many of us that complain about anything and everything in life and never take the time to stop and realize just how good we have it. For the most part, we take the everyday blessings we have for granted.

Then we have a lady named <!–Danelle Umstead that can’t see but instead of sitting around feeling sorry hor herself, she took up skiing and it changed her life forever.

Danelle and with the assistance of her husband Rob, who serves as her eyes, have achieved what seems impossible; a blind skier that has learned to fly down the mountains at 70 miles per hour.

2014 Winter Olympic Games - Season 2014

“The fear does creep into your mind and into your heart,” said Umstead, who competes on the US Paralympic Team. “You just have to use that mental training and harness that inner strength and let it go.”

Skiing at that level for a seeing person is difficult enough let alone someone that is blind.


As they ski down the mountains, Danelle takes signals from her husband that is in the lead.

Umstead grew up with low vision and wore thick Coke-bottle glasses to see. Her vision got worse at 13 when she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease.

“I lost all usable vision in my right eye,” she said. “It was really tough growing up and getting involved in sports.”
Over time, her vision continued to deteriorate. By 27, Umstead lost central vision in her left eye and fell into a deep depression.
“It seemed like my life was just crumbling day by day,” she said. “I spent a long time feeling like there was not an easy way out or a way out at all.”
Through this difficult time, her dad called her up.
“He said, ‘We’re gonna go skiing. … I’m gonna be your eyes, and you and I are gonna go skiing,’ ” she said. “We went down the mountain, and my life changed from that moment forward.”
Umstead fell in love with the sport and moved to Taos, New Mexico, to ski as much as she could. It was there that she met Rob.

In 2010, the couple won two bronze medals in the women’s downhill and super combined events for the visually impaired at the Paralympics Winter Games in Vancouver.
Danelle is not the only person in the world to overcome personal afflictions but she is one of the very brave, special people that have. She and the rest of the impaired people that take the bull by the horns, get out and overcome their disabilities are an inspiration to all of us that bitch and complain if we stub our toe.
As the old saying goes; I complained about not having shoes until I saw the man with no feet.
Hats off to all of those Warriors and brave people. I can not even imagine being in their shoes.  They have my utmost respect and admiration.
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About The Goomba Gazette

COMMON-SENSE is the name of the game Addressing topics other bloggers shy away from. All posts are original. Objective: impartial commentary on news stories, current events, nationally and internationally news told as they should be; SHOOTING STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP AND TELLING IT LIKE IT IS. No topics are off limits. No party affiliations, no favorites, just a patriotic American trying to make a difference. God Bless America and Semper Fi!
This entry was posted in amazing people, Sports, Uncategorized, USA's finest and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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