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Young Athlete Doesn't Let Blindness Stand In The Way Of A Pole Vaulting Medal

May 21, 2015
Emory Rains High School senior Charlotte Brown came in third with a pole vault of 11 feet, 6 inches at the Texas state high school track meet this past weekend. She had been chasing this dream for the past three years - a medal for jumping a bar that she couldn't see.

Brown was born with normal vision but developed cataracts when she was just 16 weeks old. This led to several operations that stabilized her vision until she was 11, when it began to decline again. By 2013, she had pinhole vision and is now completely blind. Her mother describes what remains as a "jigsaw puzzle" of shades of light and dark.

Brown began competing at pole vault in seventh grade because she was looking for something a little "dangerous and exciting." "She came to win," said her father, Ian Brown. "As parents, we are thrilled she got on the podium."
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