Maui Sports

Legally Blind Man to Compete in XTERRA World Championship Sunday‎

October 20, 2010, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated October 21, 9:57 AM
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Legally blind Michael Stone is competing in the XTERRA World Championship in Maui, Hawaii this Sunday, October 24, facing greater challenges than the other participants. The 42-year-old from Boulder, Colorado will compete with the help of his friend and former XTERRA Pro Jared Berg, who yells out warnings and directions.

A ten-time Ironman triathlete, Michael has a blinding retinal degenerative disease called cone-rod dystrophy – which causes his world to be painfully bright – “it’s like…someone is shining a couple of flashlights in your eyes,” he says.

Photo of Michael Stone courtesy: Race to Cure Blindness.

Diagnosed in 2004, he doesn’t let his disease keep him from doing what he loves. In 2006, Michael competed in the Ironman Triathlon Championship. He decided to compete in XTERRA competitions – which include sports that he had shied away from, such as mountain biking – while working on his recently published book, “Eye Envy.” The book tells the story of blind people who have lived extraordinary lives and offers inspiration and guidance to those facing the challenge of blinding diseases.

“I saw people who had greater sight limitations than mine doing amazing things,” he said. “That’s when I realized I had become one of those people who was living in a significant amount of fear.”

Stone dedicates his time to pushing his own limits and inspiring and helping others also facing blinding diseases.
To contribute to the fight against blindness, Michael co-created the Race To Cure Blindness to dedicate his racing to this cause. All of the proceeds of Michael’s races benefit the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the world’s largest source of non-governmental funding for retinal degenerative diseases. A triathlete, coach, trainer, public speaker, and author of Eye Envy, Michael has a powerful story to share including how he competes, copes and does his part to help in the fight against blindness.

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***** If you enjoyed this post, you may also find our XTERRA story interesting as well.

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