Events Flourish for
Blind and Deaf Sports

Beep baseball is one of the most popular sports for the blind, played with balls and bases that make sounds. Since some players are partially sighted, all participants are required to wear blindfolds. Photo courtesy of David Goldman/AP Images
Beep baseball is one of the most popular sports for the blind, played with balls and bases that make sounds. Since some players are partially sighted, all participants are required to wear blindfolds. Photo courtesy of David Goldman/AP Images

By Greg Mellen

Whether it’s from the inspiration of Olympic athletes like world-record-setting blind archer Im Dong-hyun; deaf or hearing-impaired athletes competing in a wide array of organized sports, including the Deaflympics; or the thousands who participate at the Paralympics, the world is learning that disabilities need not define the athlete.
While sports opportunities for sight- and hearing-impaired athletes continue to grow, albeit sometimes slowly and with money in short supply, advocates of those groups say education continues to be critical in the quest to develop and maintain such opportunities, which are often being carried out in unexpected ways. That said, organizers have had success finding willing host cities throughout the United States for their events, which run the gamut from grass-roots to elite levels.

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