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Conquering All Odds, Blindly

  • Broadcast in Health



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An interview with:
Steven Holcomb
In 2001 , Steven Holcomb was first diagnosed with
keratoconus, an extreme version of astigmatism which leads to complete visual impairment. Keeping his blindness a secret to everyone that mattered, including his team, he managed to become a highly skilled bobsled competitor.
In a visit to an opthalmologist in 2007,  he discovered that no contact lens could help his condition. At that point, he said that it was like "literally wearing coke bottles in his eyes".
This came at a time when Steven was at the peak of his sport.

Fortunately, a meeting with Dr. Brian Wachler would change his life. Steven Holcomb's vision impairment was remedied with a two-step procedure.Firstly, his eyes received a vitamin (riboflavin) solution that reacted with light and kept his vision stable. Then, special contact lenses were placed behind the iris of his eyes.  

From this point, US bobsled history was to experience a new era. In 2009, Steven Holcomb won the first world championship title for the US in 50 years and at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the first Gold medal for the US.