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There are a wide variety of activities that are suitable for people with vision problems. For example, they can become great musicians, because the absence of one sense organ is compensated by developed hearing and tactile sensations. However, a person always needs more, and the modern world often creates such opportunities that no one even thought about for several decades. Therefore, today visually impaired athletes play football and conquer the ski slopes, while photographers and artists create works of art that, unfortunately, they will never be able to see.
The list of sports practiced by visually impaired Paralympians is impressive. In addition to the basically understandable chess, armwrestling and weight lifting, there are many disciplines here that simply baffle and force you to ask only one question: How? How can people without eyesight play table tennis and football, not only ski, but also go down the ski slopes, compete in biathlon, sambo or sports tourism?
Of course, the rules of this sport are slightly different from those we are used to. So, for example, in football for the blind, the field is smaller and it is surrounded by high sides, the ball makes a sound when spinning and hitting, and the goalkeeper guides the attacks, who must see at least a little better than other players. This sport, by the way, is already more than 30 years old, the first championship was held in Italy back in 1986. The Paralympic biathlon appeared around the same time. When shooting, visually impaired athletes use guns equipped with electronic acoustic glasses. The closer the scope is to the center of the target, the louder the signal.
By the way, there is only one blind sniper in the world. Carey McWilliams of North Dakota lost his sight at age 9, but thanks to his keen hearing and incredible sense of sight, he hits targets without missing. This became clear back in high school, then the young man studied at shooting courses and received a weapon permit. Carey goes hunting all the time and has an impressive collection of shotguns at home.
Of course, most Paralympics with vision impairments need the help of sighted athletes. Alpine skiers, for example, are guided by the leader's voice commands during the descent, cyclists take part in tandem races, and athletes run in pairs with a guide.
Explosion of colors
In the history of art, there are notorious examples of artists who, due to vision problems, were forced to abandon their vocation. Such a tragedy befell, for example, Levitsky, Vrubel, Korovin and Degas. However, there are other examples as well. Most of the visually impaired painters, whose paintings today make a splash all over the world, came to art after they lost their eyesight.
Lisa Fittipaldi went blind in 1993. Before that, the woman was engaged in financial analytics and was far from painting. She took a brush in her hands to try to cope with depression and unexpectedly achieved success in this matter.
John Bramblitt came to art in a similar way. Today this man is one of the most famous blind artists, his works are exhibited in many countries and are in great demand among collectors.
The story of Sergei Popolzin is even more amazing. The young man tried to become an artist, but did not find recognition for his talent. After an unsuccessful suicide attempt on this basis, the artist lost his sight and in despair destroyed all his works. However, you cannot hide from the vocation. Soon he still took up brushes and paints, now in a new way, and, oddly enough, but now his work was appreciated.
Dmitry Didorenko was also a young and promising artist, but at the age of 24 he was blown up by an old mine and went blind. Later he continued to work to prove to himself and others that he still remains a painter. However, the process of getting used to new conditions was long and difficult.
Each visually impaired artist has his own secrets of mastery. There can be no general recipes. Someone marks the contour of future drawings, sticking pins into the canvas, someone imposes volumetric strokes and is guided by them. Others use a net of rope stretched over canvas. John Bramblitt, for example, says that he feels the colors of paints to the touch, but Lisa Fittipaldi admits that she herself does not understand how she does it. Probably, here we are on the border of understanding the phenomenon of human consciousness and can really feel not only the limits of our capabilities, but also the mystery of overcoming them.
One of a kind
There are examples of completely unique specialists who have become, probably, the only representatives of visually impaired people in these professions in the world. The most amazing example of human courage remains Jacob Bolotin. The son of poor Polish immigrants, who was born blind at the beginning of the 20th century, not only studied at school, but graduated with honors from the Chicago Medical College and became a world-renowned doctor. He specialized in heart and lung diseases. Using his uniquely sharpened hearing and sense of smell, he became a unique diagnostician. In addition, the young doctor traveled to many cities with public lectures, showing by his own example that disability should not become a reason for refusing to live a full life. Unfortunately, he died at the age of 36.
In our country, at the beginning of the 20th century, Mikhail Vladimirovich Margolin, a blind inventor and designer of small arms, was an example of courage and talent. He studied all parts and details by touch. In communicating with draftsmen and workers, I used models and layouts made of plasticine, wax, wood, metal, plastic. He became the author of many types of sports weapons, which are still used by our athletes.
The beginning of the 21st century has given visually impaired people enormous opportunities for communication, and those who are not afraid to take advantage of them can sometimes find themselves in completely unexpected areas. Tommy Edison, for example, became the world's only blind film critic. When asked how he can perceive very visual art, the famous blogger replies: “I am not distracted by beautiful faces, shots or special effects. A good film can be enjoyed without a picture if the story is correctly and talentedly told."