This Blind Pole-Vaulter Lost Her Sight, But Not Her Determination

by
Nicole Conlan
"The question wasn't 'how,' but 'how high?'" Charlotte Brown began to lose her sight to infant cataracts when she was just three months old,

Charlotte Brown began to lose her sight to infant cataracts when she was just three months old, and since then, her vision has steadily deteriorated and ultimately disappeared altogether. However, this hasn't stopped her from being one of the top high school track athletes in Texas. Brown is a runner and pole-vaulter who is rapidly closing in on Texas' pole-vaulting records.

While she still had enough vision left to see contrast, Brown was able to continue running by focusing on the difference between the track and the green turf next to it. Once she went completely blind, she had to switch things up. She now uses a sound-based system to tell where she is, and it has enabled her not to just to continue pole-vaulting, but to do it at an elite level.

Brown isn't the only athlete to use echolocation tactics to keep competing -- Daniel Kish is one of many other blind athletes who use sound to orient themselves.

For more information on Charlotte Brown, visit ESPNW.

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