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Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT

 

 


richhunter

Jun 21, 11 14:27

Post #1 of 126 (7394 views)
Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT Quote | Reply

Blind athlete to sue U.S. Triathlon group for discrimination over "black out" glasses rulehttp://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2011/06/21/news/local_news/doc4e00ebd86f739628060397.txtDespite lobbying efforts from the visually impaired triathlon community, USAT continues to turn a blind eye as visually impaired athletes are harassed at US events about blackening out their vision if they want to have their time count in a physically challenged wave. If you don't believe it, look up the rules in the USAT official rule book. Visually impaired athletes sought relief at a Paratriathlon Summit in Colorado Springs, and while most were sympathetic, USAT has chosen to do nothing to stop this blatant discrimination. I personally know a visually impaired athlete who was sought out at an event this year and was instructed to wear the blackout goggles in spite of zero experience running totally blind. While this suit will be filed on behalf of Aaron Scheidies, world champion, many more names would have been on this suit if we were residents of Michigan. Please share the above article link to get the word out.


jpaulson518

Jun 21, 11 14:51

Post #2 of 126 (7290 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

richhunter wrote:
...if they want to have their time count in a physically challenged wave....

I think this is the important part there. Where do we draw the line between people that can't see very well and people that are completely blind? Do we let anyone that claims to be visually impaired compete in the physically challenged wave. Is it fair to let someone who has an impairment but not total blindness compete against someone who is completely blind?

I think the attempt is to make the playing field fair for all in the "physically challenged wave." If they don't want to obey the rules to be included in that wave then they can always race with the other age groupers right?

I hate to sound insensitive, but what are they to do when you have people being placed against each other in a physically challenged wave with varying different physical impairments? Do we have a completely blind wave, a 20% blind wave, a blind in one eye wave, a 20/20 vision wave, etc. etc?


yme

Jun 21, 11 14:53

Post #3 of 126 (7276 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpaulson518] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

X2, nuff said.

jpaulson518 wrote:
richhunter wrote:
...if they want to have their time count in a physically challenged wave....


I think this is the important part there. Where do we draw the line between people that can't see very well and people that are completely blind? Do we let anyone that claims to be visually impaired compete in the physically challenged wave. Is it fair to let someone who has an impairment but not total blindness compete against someone who is completely blind?

I think the attempt is to make the playing field fair for all in the "physically challenged wave." If they don't want to obey the rules to be included in that wave then they can always race with the other age groupers right?

I hate to sound insensitive, but what are they to do when you have people being placed against each other in a physically challenged wave with varying different physical impairments? Do we have a completely blind wave, a 20% blind wave, a blind in one eye wave, a 20/20 vision wave, etc. etc?


Paulo Sousa

Jun 21, 11 15:02

Post #4 of 126 (7217 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

A real landmark for human rights...
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ggeiger

Jun 21, 11 15:03

Post #5 of 126 (7213 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [yme] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

X3! Just what the sport needs....a lawsuit.


yme wrote:
X2, nuff said.

jpaulson518 wrote:
richhunter wrote:
...if they want to have their time count in a physically challenged wave....


I think this is the important part there. Where do we draw the line between people that can't see very well and people that are completely blind? Do we let anyone that claims to be visually impaired compete in the physically challenged wave. Is it fair to let someone who has an impairment but not total blindness compete against someone who is completely blind?

I think the attempt is to make the playing field fair for all in the "physically challenged wave." If they don't want to obey the rules to be included in that wave then they can always race with the other age groupers right?

I hate to sound insensitive, but what are they to do when you have people being placed against each other in a physically challenged wave with varying different physical impairments? Do we have a completely blind wave, a 20% blind wave, a blind in one eye wave, a 20/20 vision wave, etc. etc?
Gary Geiger
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jackmott

Jun 21, 11 15:04

Post #6 of 126 (7201 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

sounds like the blind athlete is just like most of the sighted athletes

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Fr.Tri

Jun 21, 11 15:10

Post #7 of 126 (7182 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

"By the 10th Revision of the WHO International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death, low vision is defined as visual acuity of less than 6/18, but equal to or better than 3/60, or corresponding visual field loss to less than 20 degrees, in the better eye with best possible correction. Blindness is defined as visual acuity of less than 3/60, or corresponding visual field loss to less than 10 degrees, in the better eye with best possible correction."


This is the international standard for what constitutes visually impaired and blind. Perhaps it could help w/t the drawing of lines


triguy98

Jun 21, 11 15:26

Post #8 of 126 (7109 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpaulson518] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I am hearing impaired. It presents a different set of challenges than visual impairment. However, there is a similarity here. No, my hearing isn't great, but without my hearing aid, my balance is off a little. If the athlete can pereive light, being thrust into the dark with blackout lenses would be an incredible challenge.

Those "arrive prepared" statements are absurd. You think they should have to train with blackout lenses? I am not sure how much that would help a ton, as they are not likely to wear them for the other 98% of their life.

With sentiments like the above posted, apparently this sport DOES need a lawsuit. People are simply ignorant of the reality faced by others.


type-B

Jun 21, 11 16:52

Post #9 of 126 (6912 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [triguy98] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

This just seems like a lose-lose situation.

One would think that people with partial sight would have a huge advantage over totally blind people. At that point would the zero sight people have to file a lawsuit against USAT for discrimination?
--------------------------------------------------------

It seemed like a good idea at the time. . .


Westhuron

Jun 21, 11 16:53

Post #10 of 126 (6908 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpaulson518] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

If you read the entire article, I think it does a very good job explaining the reality of blacked out goggles for VI athletes. I was the guide for Aaron at the NYC race in 2010 and have guided him for the better part of 8 years (100+ races) And I was able to witness first hand the effects... When you live life with 20% vision and then are expected to completely remove that sense on race day, how are you leveling the playing field? What purpose does this rule serve?

We as a community need to embrace and support challenged athletes of all levels. It's hard enough to navigate life with unfair rules and daily ignorance to their personal challenges.


Slowman

Jun 21, 11 17:03

Post #11 of 126 (6866 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [ggeiger] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

i don't know if we need a lawsuit or not. but it seems we certainly need a discussion. i love threads like these. i'm going to learn some stuff i didn't know, and read some points of view to which i haven't been exposed.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman


JoeB

Jun 21, 11 17:11

Post #12 of 126 (6844 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I think the saying goes:

"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king".

If he is competing in a "blind" wave, then clearly he has some advantage over those with less vision. If is simply a "physically challenged " wave, then it is likely already composed of a wide assortment of challenges, some presenting larger challenges than others. Given that there would be no way to level that field, then I don't really see a need to provide further challenges to the athletes.


AlwaysCurious

Jun 21, 11 17:57

Post #13 of 126 (6725 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Westhuron] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Westhuron wrote:
When you live life with 20% vision and then are expected to completely remove that sense on race day, how are you leveling the playing field? What purpose does this rule serve?

Do you seriously not understand how it levels the playing field, or are you intentionally being obtuse?
  • The rule has been in place since March, 2010, and applies only to the run portion. He's had more than a year to train with them.
  • The article states that 15% of blind people have no sight at all. I'd guess those folks feel the playing field has been leveled. I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise if one of those folks chimes in here. But as much as think that USAT is a joke organization, I'd guess they considered this before adopting the rule.
  • He's not at all required to wear the glasses; he can compete in the non-disabled wave.
These are the types of suits that have caused backlash against the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was intended to allow people with disabilities to hold jobs and get through life with a minimum of personal assistance. And now people are suing because they can't compete in the triathlon division that they prefer, in the exact manner that they prefer?

This same mentality is trying to push for obesity being a disability protected under ADA. Which would mean I could sue USAT for telling me I had to gain 20 pounds to compete in the Clydesdale division because I wasn't completely obese, just 80% obese.


triyourbest

Jun 21, 11 18:24

Post #14 of 126 (6626 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpaulson518] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

have to agree here. Makes a good point.


AlwaysCurious

Jun 21, 11 18:27

Post #15 of 126 (6616 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [triguy98] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

triguy98 wrote:
I am hearing impaired. It presents a different set of challenges than visual impairment. However, there is a similarity here. No, my hearing isn't great, but without my hearing aid, my balance is off a little. If the athlete can pereive light, being thrust into the dark with blackout lenses would be an incredible challenge.

Those "arrive prepared" statements are absurd. You think they should have to train with blackout lenses? I am not sure how much that would help a ton, as they are not likely to wear them for the other 98% of their life.

With sentiments like the above posted, apparently this sport DOES need a lawsuit. People are simply ignorant of the reality faced by others.

  1. Do you compete in a hearing impaired division? If not, there is very little similarity.
  2. If you do compete in hearing impaired division, do you think you face as many challenges as someone with no hearing at all?
  3. Would you sue USAT if they did not allow you to wear a hearing aid in the hearing impaired division?



RAC880

Jun 21, 11 18:40

Post #16 of 126 (6573 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

disabled athletes who want to compete should have guidelines and rules to make it fair for all. The arguments made swayed me. USAT is perceived as the bad guy but someone has to set rules and guidelines to try and make it fair. If that person can't blacken out their glasses then just run the race to do the race rather than competing. It's not like he can't be in the event.


triguy98

Jun 21, 11 18:42

Post #17 of 126 (6566 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [AlwaysCurious] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

So 85% of visually impaired athletes have some sense of vision, be just a perception of light, or the ability to make out vague shapes? And yet, you would prefer they not be able to do that? Training with something like that does not equate to adapting to it. Even if a sense is impaired, taking it away completely throws off the body's equilibrium. It would be nice if one of those 15% would chime in, but we both know the likelihood of that.

It would seem to me that the overreaction is on the part of USAT, not the athlete. Does the athlete even have the option of competeing in the AG ranks? I could see them crying fault over safety concerns and the athlete being "paced" by his mandatory guide.

It would be nice if all of us were perfect. Your assumptions that the disabled just need to man up and quit abusing the ADA are comical to me. You have never obviously never faced discrimination for physical impairments. Never been denied a job for no other reason than an impairment of one variety or the other. Must be nice. It would be fantastic if people would do the right and ethical thing all the time, but that is simply not the way it goes.

I hate our sue-happy society more than most. But sometimes it is the ONLY way to be heard and taken seriously.


AlwaysCurious

Jun 21, 11 18:49

Post #18 of 126 (6538 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [triguy98] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I was wrong: if he chooses to not wear the glasses, he can still compete in the Physically Challenged division--just the "Open" division, rather than the "National Championship" division. Here are the rules. Still think it's worthy of a lawsuit?

http://www.nyctri.com/...al_Championships.htm

Race Waves: There are two Paratriathlon race waves.
  • "Accenture Paratriathlon National Championship": You must have a verified, official sub-2 hour Sprint or sub-4 hour Olympic distance finish between July 19, 2010 and June 1, 2011 to enter. The race will be an Olympic 1k/40k/10k distance event. All USAT rules will be enforced. Medical classification is required for all entrants. All participants are eligible for USA Paratriathlon National Championship awards and ITU World Championship qualification. ITU Worlds qualifying standards will be announced February 1, 2011.
  • "Accenture PC Open": All USA Paratriathlon rules enforced. No qualifying time required. No medical classification required. Eligible for awards in two categories only – wheelchair and standing. Results are ranked by finishing time. Wave starts separate from Paratriathlon National Championship wave.

Note: Visually impaired athletes who do not wear the ‘blackout glasses’ may compete in the PC Open. Visually impaired athletes in the National Championship wave who do not wear blackout glasses will be disqualified and are not eligible for awards.


(This post was edited by AlwaysCurious on Jun 21, 11 18:52)


npage148

Jun 21, 11 18:50

Post #19 of 126 (6533 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Sounds like USAT is a fan of Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron.


triguy98

Jun 21, 11 19:15

Post #20 of 126 (6441 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [AlwaysCurious] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The only organization that I can find that uses this tactic is ITU/ Usat. The US Paralympics or International Blind Sports Federation do not recognize seperate visually impaired catagories, nor require competitors to wear black out glasses. Even with sports such as Judo, which you would think any sensory "advantage" would be unfair. Triathlon is trying to make an issue where one simply does not exist.


triguy98

Jun 21, 11 19:21

Post #21 of 126 (6421 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [AlwaysCurious] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

AlwaysCurious wrote:
triguy98 wrote:
I am hearing impaired. It presents a different set of challenges than visual impairment. However, there is a similarity here. No, my hearing isn't great, but without my hearing aid, my balance is off a little. If the athlete can pereive light, being thrust into the dark with blackout lenses would be an incredible challenge.

Those "arrive prepared" statements are absurd. You think they should have to train with blackout lenses? I am not sure how much that would help a ton, as they are not likely to wear them for the other 98% of their life.

With sentiments like the above posted, apparently this sport DOES need a lawsuit. People are simply ignorant of the reality faced by others.

  1. Do you compete in a hearing impaired division? If not, there is very little similarity.
  2. If you do compete in hearing impaired division, do you think you face as many challenges as someone with no hearing at all?
  3. Would you sue USAT if they did not allow you to wear a hearing aid in the hearing impaired division?

The division does not exist. This does not upset me. I prefer to just do my thing. But I am not required to ride tandem and be tethered, either.

If I was to compete in such a division, racing without my hearing aid would put my at the same disadvantages.

I would not sue if they wouldn't let me wear a hearing aid, but the blackout glasses would be more like forcing me to wear earmuffs or ear plugs.


p2k2001

Jun 21, 11 19:25

Post #22 of 126 (6400 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I'd like to hear more about how that ITU rule was devised. On the surface, the concept of blackout glasses seems to me to represent a level of ignorance that is simply incomprehensible.


Maui5150

Jun 21, 11 19:30

Post #23 of 126 (6383 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I this when it first started to build and fully support Aaron. With his condition, he is at a disadvantage in the blackout glasses, since what little vision he has provides him basically equilibrium and little else.


Raul

Jun 21, 11 19:31

Post #24 of 126 (6378 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Westhuron] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Westhuron wrote:

We as a community need to embrace and support challenged athletes of all levels. It's hard enough to navigate life with unfair rules and daily ignorance to their personal challenges.


This.

------------------------------------------------------------
"Triathlon is for people who can't handle drugs and alcohol." -IMFL t-shirt

The Dude Abides...

(This post was edited by Raul on Jun 21, 11 19:32)


Raul

Jun 21, 11 19:33

Post #25 of 126 (6371 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jackmott] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

jackmott wrote:
sounds like the blind athlete is just like most of the sighted athletes

ARRIVED UNPREPARED!

Real eff'n funny Jack. You truly are a class act.

------------------------------------------------------------
"Triathlon is for people who can't handle drugs and alcohol." -IMFL t-shirt

The Dude Abides...


ddtri

Jun 21, 11 19:38

Post #26 of 126 (2913 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [triguy98] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

triguy98 wrote:
I am hearing impaired. It presents a different set of challenges than visual impairment. However, there is a similarity here. No, my hearing isn't great, but without my hearing aid, my balance is off a little. If the athlete can pereive light, being thrust into the dark with blackout lenses would be an incredible challenge.

Those "arrive prepared" statements are absurd. You think they should have to train with blackout lenses? I am not sure how much that would help a ton, as they are not likely to wear them for the other 98% of their life.

With sentiments like the above posted, apparently this sport DOES need a lawsuit. People are simply ignorant of the reality faced by others.

x2.......
"Triathlon- where runners go to die and where rich people go to get excercise" - Coach Frank
DistancePreps


ssphone

Jun 21, 11 20:00

Post #27 of 126 (2903 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [triguy98] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Listen I am color blind as they come. Sometimes I can't see the buoys at all, at best they are more difficult to see. Then there was a trail run where the RD spray painted the trail with orange paint I couldn't see it and thus couldn't even follow the course.... I chalk it up to ignorance on the RD part, and yes it sucks, but I don't make a huge fuss about it. Aaron is making a huge stink, it is bad for the sport, and a bad reflection on Kswiss and the rest of his sponsors.


draketriathlon

Jun 21, 11 20:04

Post #28 of 126 (2897 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [ssphone] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

ssphone wrote:
Listen I am color blind as they come. Sometimes I can't see the buoys at all, at best they are more difficult to see. Then there was a trail run where the RD spray painted the trail with orange paint I couldn't see it and thus couldn't even follow the course.... I chalk it up to ignorance on the RD part, and yes it sucks, but I don't make a huge fuss about it. Aaron is making a huge stink, it is bad for the sport, and a bad reflection on Kswiss and the rest of his sponsors.

I don't think he's making a huge stink and I surely don't think any less of him. He's not doing it so he can keep winning, hes already proven he can smoke not only the other people under classification but probably 99.99 percent of the people on this forum too. Its a safety concern for him and the other competitors and have no problem with him taking up action so he or others don't get injured.


monty

Jun 21, 11 20:24

Post #29 of 126 (2878 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I've thought about this from all points of view, of course I'm not in the .001% of people in the sport that are affected. First of all, i think any sanctioning body has to look at what the international standards are. For instance, if you are qualifying folks for special olympics, what are their guidelines? IT would only make sense on the national level to link up with international standards, otherwise you just cause confusion and any qualifying standards won't make sense. I understand that a partially sighted person would not want to go full blindness, as that is a disadvantage. It seems like there is no contention about that, it is after all why there is a problem here. On the other hand, the fully blind do have that full disadvantage built in, and cannot do anything about that, unlike the partially sighted folks who can change their status.

I'm not fully up on the international standards here, but it sounds like you have to really be blind. If that is the case, then I fully understand why partially blind folks have to make the adaptation to level the playing field as far as sight goes to compete as fair as possible, under the guidlines. Sure the partially sighted person is angry, but so is the completely blind person who would have to compete in an unfair playing field. You cannot make both those people happy, so the best you can do is to try and be as fair as possible. It seems like that is what they are doing.

And I do not buy the argument that partially sighted folks somehow are now at some disadantage because they now have to race dark, that is simply not true. I'm positive that if I were to train completely blacked out for a month or two, I would adapt and be very competitive, most likely kick some serious blind ass. Would I be as good as I am now, of course not. Just like the partially sighted folks would not be as good as they would be with 20% sight, but that is not the point. If we are going to compete against "completely " blind athletes, and that is the international/national standard, then level that playing field and see who is the best athlete, not the person who barley sneaks into the category with possibly inferior skills.

I guess I'm with the group that says man up, go dark, and see if you are still so great in the category. Don't make lame excuses that don't hold water, as even a blind person can see right through them..

And what is up with the title blind pro triathlete?? Does this guy have a pro card?? I mean I know a lot of folks that get paid by their parents, local companies, sponsors, or whoever, but that does not make them pro. Just lucky AG'ers who are sponsored. Besides respecting the blind category, this athlete also needs to respect the real pros of the sport.


draketriathlon

Jun 21, 11 20:43

Post #30 of 126 (2855 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [monty] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

monty wrote:
I've thought about this from all points of view, of course I'm not in the .001% of people in the sport that are affected. First of all, i think any sanctioning body has to look at what the international standards are. For instance, if you are qualifying folks for special olympics, what are their guidelines? IT would only make sense on the national level to link up with international standards, otherwise you just cause confusion and any qualifying standards won't make sense. I understand that a partially sighted person would not want to go full blindness, as that is a disadvantage. It seems like there is no contention about that, it is after all why there is a problem here. On the other hand, the fully blind do have that full disadvantage built in, and cannot do anything about that, unlike the partially sighted folks who can change their status.

I'm not fully up on the international standards here, but it sounds like you have to really be blind. If that is the case, then I fully understand why partially blind folks have to make the adaptation to level the playing field as far as sight goes to compete as fair as possible, under the guidlines. Sure the partially sighted person is angry, but so is the completely blind person who would have to compete in an unfair playing field. You cannot make both those people happy, so the best you can do is to try and be as fair as possible. It seems like that is what they are doing.

And I do not buy the argument that partially sighted folks somehow are now at some disadantage because they now have to race dark, that is simply not true. I'm positive that if I were to train completely blacked out for a month or two, I would adapt and be very competitive, most likely kick some serious blind ass. Would I be as good as I am now, of course not. Just like the partially sighted folks would not be as good as they would be with 20% sight, but that is not the point. If we are going to compete against "completely " blind athletes, and that is the international/national standard, then level that playing field and see who is the best athlete, not the person who barley sneaks into the category with possibly inferior skills.

I guess I'm with the group that says man up, go dark, and see if you are still so great in the category. Don't make lame excuses that don't hold water, as even a blind person can see right through them..

And what is up with the title blind pro triathlete?? Does this guy have a pro card?? I mean I know a lot of folks that get paid by their parents, local companies, sponsors, or whoever, but that does not make them pro. Just lucky AG'ers who are sponsored. Besides respecting the blind category, this athlete also needs to respect the real pros of the sport.

Wow Monty, don't know what to say here. Ignoring the fact its not the special olympics its the paraolympics, you don't think taking one of your senses away would hamper you for more than a month or two? That is pretty ignorant if you ask me. Aaron isn't just "sneaking" into the category, but I guess you would know that if you looked up anything on him nor had time to look up the rules, which takes all of a couple min google search. Nor does he have "inferior skills" but if you want to be rude keep going...

http://www.triathlon.org/...riathlon/categories/ here you go since you're obviously being lazy tonight. The changes have been instituted by ITU which say if you are in the tri6 category you must have blackout glasses http://www.triathlon.org/...paratriathlon_rules/ . Therefore USAT was just following the new rule based on ITU, but that doesn't mean its the correct ruling.

Either way your post came off as incredibly rude to anyone is racing with a disability not to mention to Aaron who is one heck of an athlete.


ssphone

Jun 21, 11 20:49

Post #31 of 126 (2846 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [draketriathlon] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Any time you file a lawsuit you are making a stink. And he might be faster than 99.99% of triathletes but it is not an apples-to-apples comparison. We can't really quantify what his loss of sight equals in terms of time but you can bet he gets quite the advantage on the bike and run, and even possibly on the swim. I guess you would have to do an indoor triathlon to have a better idea of his capabilities before you claim he is faster than 99.99%.


draketriathlon

Jun 21, 11 20:53

Post #32 of 126 (2843 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [ssphone] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

ssphone wrote:
Any time you file a lawsuit you are making a stink. And he might be faster than 99.99% of triathletes but it is not an apples-to-apples comparison. We can't really quantify what his loss of sight equals in terms of time but you can bet he gets quite the advantage on the bike and run, and even possibly on the swim. I guess you would have to do an indoor triathlon to have a better idea of his capabilities before you claim he is faster than 99.99%.

I understand the bike, but please explain to me how having to get sighting directions on a swim is making you faster and how is him being tethered to someone on the run making him faster? I would say the extra time it takes him to get sighting instructions on the swim and the fact that he has to be teathered to someone almost makes up the difference for the added speed on a bike. Although they don't race in aero so i'm not really sure its even that big of a deal compared to what he could do on an aero tribike. That said he is still going around 2:05 is most olys so yes he is faster than 99.99 percent of triathletes even with the advantage on the bike.


SDCali

Jun 21, 11 21:00

Post #33 of 126 (2837 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [AlwaysCurious] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Here is the listing for the rules for swimming according to IPC and the specific level of visual impairment that requires the wearing of black out goggles.
Quote:
3. Sport Classes Profiles for Athletes with Visual Impairment

3.1. Sport Class 11

3.1.1 An Athlete shall compete in Sport Class 11 if the Athlete
is unable to recognize the orientation of a 100M Single
Tumbling E target (height: 145mm) at a distance of
250mm.
3.1.2 Within this class, the vision ability may range from no
light perception to a Single Tumbling E visual acuity
poorer or equal to than LogMAR = 2.60.
3.1.3 All Athletes (with the exception of those with prosthesis
in both eyes) shall be required to wear opaque goggles
for each individual and relay event for the full duration of
the event. Athletes whose facial structure will not
support goggles shall be required to cover the eyes with
an opaque covering.


check out my blog http://theswimmingtriathlete.blogspot.com


ssphone

Jun 21, 11 21:01

Post #34 of 126 (2836 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [draketriathlon] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

He is faster on the run because he is fresher off the bike. He might be soft-pedaling for all we know - but at the very least he spent less time on his bike. So if he would have bike a 1:05 40K and bike a 55 then that is 10 minutes less of biking. Less biking equals more energy for running. Go out and ride a tandem sometime, or find one riding and try to hang onto them - it is a big difference regardless of aero position. I have never watched him swim, but it is possible that he is given space by other athletes and isn't climbed over etc, in addition he can draft swimming right off someones chest on their bow wave. There is no sighting involved either - all he has to do is follow the guide, and with a string attached he is going to be following the guide. Regardless of how it all works in actuality, the point I was making is that it is not a simple apples to apples comparison.


monty

Jun 21, 11 21:01

Post #35 of 126 (2834 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [draketriathlon] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Wow Monty, don't know what to say here. Ignoring the fact its not the special olympics its the paraolympics, you don't think taking one of your senses away would hamper you for more than a month or two?

That is not what i said. I said that if you took my sense of sight away, and I trained that way for a couple months, I could race that way pretty well. Not as good as I would sighted, but the same as the guy that is completely blind. Someone said that this partially sighted person would be at some big disadvantage if he went dark, as he would lose his balance. Well, welcome to the completely blind guys world. My point is that if you train without that sense, you would adapt to it, and things like balance and such would be minimized. I have tried it many times before, in the pool and running, and in just a short period I can go pretty good. That is why I know I could do it if I went completely dark for a few months of training..

And don't nit pick me on which olympics it is, this paticular topic is relevant to all of the different categories in both those olympics. Are we talking about semantics here, or a paticular policy? And you are right, I do not know where you fried stands in this category, but apparently he is not happy with his status, so I assume he is not completely blind. Listen, I'm not saying he is not a great guy, or a great athlete, I don't know him. I take it from your posts you do, and you think he is both, great. But I think looking at the entire blind community/field, he is the one being short sighted here, and asking for special consideration for himself. I did not say he had inferior skills, but I made the point that a person with inferior skills would be better if they had partial sight vs being compleely in the dark. You cannot argue that he would lose some of his skills by going completely dark, without acknowledging the opposite. You seem to have a hard time admitting that he has an advantage over completely blind folks because of his partial sight, do you not belive that?

And lastly, give me a break, do not call me rude or insensitive. Since you have just told me that it is an international standard and USAT is just following it, it is you who are being insensitive to the totally blind. I put myself in that persons place, and thought, what would I think is fair to me and others like me. That is who I'm sensitive to, the totally blind athlete, so do not try and paint me as some blind person bigot..


Rick in the D

Jun 21, 11 21:22

Post #36 of 126 (2817 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Raul] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Raul wrote:
jackmott wrote:
sounds like the blind athlete is just like most of the sighted athletes

ARRIVED UNPREPARED!


Real eff'n funny Jack. You truly are a class act.


x4000.

Jack, you do contribute quite a bit w/respect to wheels, aerodynamics, power results, aero whatever. You're a knowledgeable guy, with great experience and willingness to research things you don't know, and post what you've found. I think that's fantastic, and I've learned quite a bit from what you've shared. But....

Whether in jest / sarcastic, I find your post offensive, and lacking in your usual attention and acuity to the issues. Good thing it's slowtwitch where being offensive, sarcasm or not, is tolerated. It's discourse, and that's one way of doing it.


------------------

- I do all my own stunts

(This post was edited by Rick in the D on Jun 21, 11 21:27)


draketriathlon

Jun 21, 11 21:25

Post #37 of 126 (2814 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [monty] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I think you're still underestimating how much losing one of your senses would affect you functioning at a high level in tris, even if you have done it for a "short period". But thats impossible to debate unless that has happened to either of us but it hasn't. However Aarons condition is such that he has gradually lost his eye sight over time. You're missing the point that was made about going from legally blind but not completely blind to just blind in the aspect of balance. When you have lived your whole life blind your balance is already figured out because you have years of training with that exact condition. If you go from legally blind to completely blind by putting on glasses your balance is going to be changed no matter what its not how you normally function. The fully blind person is already used to this condition so it doesn't take any extra effort to balance compared to someone just thrown into it. Which goes into what you said about him having an advantage, which I can honestly say I have no idea. But taking away the little vision some blind athletes have and making them go completely blacked out surely gives an advantage to the fully blind athletes who have been that way for a considerable amount of time. Futhermore, from the article I don't believe Aaron is at all arguing the fairness of the rule, but on the grounds that it is dangerous for him and other blind athletes to completely lose their vision. Also from the article it is not just Aaron but a number of other legally blind athletes that have protested the change in rule. Nice try on calling me insensitive to the completely blind, but no I just happen to agree with Aaron that the rule isn't well thought out. Even though it MAY give fully blind athletes a better chance of being competitive it, I believe it is dangerous to require them to wear blackout glasses. Considering he's the one who has to wear them I'll take his word on it. That said I don't think it really matters if he wears black out glasses or not from a competitive standpoint he kills that category everytime he races.


jpaulson518

Jun 21, 11 21:42

Post #38 of 126 (2805 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I've had a second thought on this.

In the Clydesdale division you do not make the competitors wear weights until they are all equal in weight to the heaviest competitor.

There is a cutoff and everyone above the cutoff is allowed in the division.

By the same logic,is it enough to say that everyone below a certain visibility is in the sight impaired wave regardless of how impaired they are?

My original post was not for sure one way or the other, my questions were really just questions,I'm pretty open to debate...I know it's weird to find that on the Internet huh?


JustinPB

Jun 21, 11 22:00

Post #39 of 126 (2794 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [ssphone] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

have you ever done escape from alcatraz? The guy kicked ass there--he was 43rd, behind the last male pro by 2 minutes. And I'm not sure I can think of a more difficult race for a blind athlete to do. The bike is hilly negating any advantage of the tandem. The run is strewn with uneven ground, sand stairs and a low tunnel you have to run through. In short it's tough for someone who can see. Frankly I think your insinuations of an advantage through disability are bullshit.


ssphone

Jun 21, 11 22:24

Post #40 of 126 (2782 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpb] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

He is not completely blind first off. His vision is awful and I believe he has something like 10-15% vision. Vision is like sunblock going from 0 spf 4 is huge, but going to spf 100 is not as big of jump as you think. I think that is part of what he is complaining about this - going completely blind into triathlons is a lot different than 10-15% vision.

And Listen you are an STer right, weight doesn't matter, it is all about power and aerodynamics right?? If that is the case then weight does matter in the grand scheme of things - even on a hilly course. Do the pro's still use aero wheels? aero helmets? Then obviously aero trumps weight there. And lastly unless you do the math a combined (Starky 400 watts, plus Aaron 200 watts) equals 600 watts. I am not sure what the CDA is but I can assure they are going to go faster than if they were on separate bike with separate drive-trains and 30 meters apart. Now what if Aaron pushed 250 instead and that is 650. If I was Aaron trying to perform my best I wouldn't push the bike that hard. It just isn't worth it. If I was Aaron's coach and I was trying to get him from point A-B the fastest then I would utilize the aid as much as possible - simple as that. If you don't think there is advantage to that then great.

And don't call me out on bullshit when you haven't even thought this through completely. You really think that a single person can bike faster than a tandem? You are nuts. Maybe one of the aero guys can figure it out for us.


monty

Jun 21, 11 22:28

Post #41 of 126 (2780 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [draketriathlon] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I believe it is dangerous to require them to wear blackout glasses. //

I guess we will have to disagree about adaptations to training dark. Since I'm fully sighted, I should have a 10 time harder time than your friend adapting to full darkness, but I know it would not be that bad. I have swam in the pool eyes closed for over a 1000 yards at a time, hardly slowing down, and once did about a mile in OW with no paddler on my own, just using wind and swell to keep me on line. I was only about 50 yards off my finish line when I opened up my eyes, and didn't slow down my stroke one bit. If I had a paddler next to me, I would swim just about as fast as I do now, wouldn't lose a stroke..

Cycling is just a different sport than triathlon cycling, and requires no adaption. I have ridden on many tandems, doing so with my eyes closed has no affect. Getting a world class partner is 99% of that game. In my AG I would just put Thurlow Rogers on the front, close my eyes, and ride a 45 minute 40k, really..

Running was the hardest for me, when I run in the forest sometimes, I will close my eyes and try and run for several minutes when the trail is straight, and it is more difficult. For me this would be the only adptation. You have to soft step on the trails, on the road it would be a ton easier. But with a good guide, I know I could figure it out pretty well, and probably run80% to 85% of my sighted run. Certainly I would not lose enough time to even come close to how much I gained on a tandem bike ride..

Which brings me to your point above, what is this danger you speak of? I suppose it is inherent in all blind folks that running blind is more difficult, but once again, anyone with any amount of sight will have a huge advantage there over the completely dark folks. Since I only consider running the challenge of going dark, being able to see shapes would be a big advantage. Other than that, the guide you pick is the most important thing, someone that is a quick study of the enviorment, and can communicate it quickly and timley to you..I think you overblow the danger card here, in fact having someone escort you the entire way probably makes you safer than a lot of the sighted folks going it alone out there..

And lastly, I fully understand what Aaron is trying to do, but he needs to chang things from the top down, not from his center out. IF he has the support of "ALL" the blind athletes, and they are in agreement that the rules need to be changed, he should approach it from that angle. My guess is that he does not have that support, and there is a definate split in the community between the fully dark folks, and the partially sighted ones. Change the way the international community approaches the divisions, and my guess is that USAT would flip in an instant. They have no grudge against him, i see it as just doing what is right for most and working within the given international guidlines.. And as you said, if he is as good as you say, he should just get with the program and kick some ass on the road, and let his legs do the talking instead of his lawyer..


(This post was edited by monty on Jun 21, 11 22:53)


ssphone

Jun 21, 11 22:45

Post #42 of 126 (2765 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpb] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

A cursory look would show when the same guy has records both individually and on tandem, on the same course but different days, and the tandem time wins that it just might be possible that as a tandem you will go faster....

http://www.usacycling.org/forms/records.pdf

And I can tell you this, I would have welcomed some help at the race I did where I couldn't see the course markings. Or any race where some swim course director doesn't realize they are choosing buoy colors that disappear into the background. I can assure you had I been able to swim with someone on a swim course with red buoys, ridden a tandem, and then have a guide show me the path that I couldn't see because it was spray painted in orange, that I would have a much higher placing than I had. I don't have to be blind to see that.

No doubt Aaron is a talented athlete but it is not a simple apples-to-apples, and I am sure Aaron would have some complaints if I competed with a guide just as I am sure people complain about Aaron who are actually 100% blind. Lines have to be drawn somewhere, and even in the PC divisions they have different lines for different levels of disability. I would love to hear what someone thinks about this who is actually 100% blind.


JustinPB

Jun 21, 11 22:56

Post #43 of 126 (2760 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [ssphone] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

You're missing the entire point about the course I'm referring to. And using silly logic to do so. Wheel weight is an entirely different question (essentially because it's <1% of total system mass) from adding another body (~80% of system mass), so it's a stupid comparison.

Of course a tandem goes faster at moriarty, no one in their right mind would dispute that. Alcatraz is different because it's hilly and the descents are technical so you don't get the energy back. And you entirely glossed over the point about the run--the footing is a big deal in that race. If you haven't done it it's probably unlike any other race you've seen as far as the run course.


ssphone

Jun 21, 11 23:40

Post #44 of 126 (2746 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpb] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I will say this again and that is no doubt he is a talented athlete, but the crux of my original post is that Aaron is making mountains out of mole hills. He is wasting - IMO - the money of USAT, and I believe I help fund USAT every year. I am not a litigious person and I hate lawyers. Are you in favor of his lawsuit?

But getting back to Alcatraz for a second. What is your point? My point was that is it is *possible* that his times are faster than if he had 75% vision or even 100% vision. When you drag you weight up a hill you get that back when you go downhills - you are aware of that? He has probably 1500 watts climbing those hills, are they going to climb slower than others? Sure they and the rig weigh more but there is one drive-train, and they are putting out way more power than the average single person is. And who cares if it is technical? Are you referring to it being a tandem and tough to navigate? Well I have seen tandems corner faster than triathletes. Sure Alcatraz is hard, and sure it might not suit him that well but what is your point? You are trying to find a course that it is not faster to have a guide???? All courses suit some athletes more than others, we all have to choose our races and we do have the choice.

And you bring up the run, well lets talk about the run for a second. Take the footing for instance, maybe because he has to be more careful he is able to keep a lower heart rate and thus do a better job of natural pacing.... You think that is BS, I have seen it happen numerous times. You take a speedy guy and you throw him in his first IM and he blows up because he was able to redline his body. You take a guy that has a natural governor that doesn't allow him to redline, thus he can't burn himself up, and his first IM is a success. Happens all the time.

We could debate this subject until the end of time but if you can't see a guide being a help then you are not thinking out of the box. Sure it goes both ways, and sure it is not as cut and dry as I make it but you can't just think of it as an apples-to-apples comparison either and that was my other real point.


JustinPB

Jun 21, 11 23:53

Post #45 of 126 (2741 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [ssphone] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

ssphone wrote:
I will say this again and that is no doubt he is a talented athlete, but the crux of my original post is that Aaron is making mountains out of mole hills. He is wasting - IMO - the money of USAT, and I believe I help fund USAT every year. I am not a litigious person and I hate lawyers. Are you in favor of his lawsuit?
I'm agnostic on the lawsuit. I don't know what he's trying to achieve, so I can't say if it's a) a worthwhile goal and b) if a lawsuit is a reasonable way to achieve it. I just think it's mean-spirited of you to get on here and belittle the guy's accomplishments. He's a badass on the course, whatever you think of his actions off it, and it's stupid to try and take that away.


But getting back to Alcatraz for a second. What is your point? My point was that is it is *possible* that his times are faster than if he had 75% vision or even 100% vision. When you drag you weight up a hill you get that back when you go downhills
uh. You didn't read what I wrote.

- you are aware of that? He has probably 1500 watts climbing those hills, are they going to climb slower than others? Sure they and the rig weigh more but there is one drive-train, and they are putting out way more power than the average single person is. And who cares if it is technical? Are you referring to it being a tandem and tough to navigate?
See above. Read my post again.

Well I have seen tandems corner faster than triathletes. Sure Alcatraz is hard, and sure it might not suit him that well but what is your point? You are trying to find a course that it is not faster to have a guide???? All courses suit some athletes more than others, we all have to choose our races and we do have the choice.

And you bring up the run, well lets talk about the run for a second. Take the footing for instance, maybe because he has to be more careful he is able to keep a lower heart rate and thus do a better job of natural pacing.... You think that is BS, I have seen it happen numerous times. You take a speedy guy and you throw him in his first IM and he blows up because he was able to redline his body. You take a guy that has a natural governor that doesn't allow him to redline, thus he can't burn himself up, and his first IM is a success. Happens all the time.
You can reach for reasons that the guy has an advantage, but the point is that he goes crazy fast without being able to see. It's true that if I (a sighted person) had a guide I'd go a little faster than I do now, but HE CAN'T SEE. It seems like you're trying to make the point that he's faster than he would be if he were sighted. This is testable. Let's go get some blackout glasses and get us a couple of guides and find out what happens. I don't think I'd do as well.

We could debate this subject until the end of time but if you can't see a guide being a help then you are not thinking out of the box. Sure it goes both ways, and sure it is not as cut and dry as I make it but you can't just think of it as an apples-to-apples comparison either and that was my other real point.


mtbr

Jun 22, 11 2:58

Post #46 of 126 (2708 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Isn't Matt there to guide him?

edit: after taking 30 minutes to read the entire thread, I can see his point


(This post was edited by mtbr on Jun 22, 11 3:17)


formerfatass

Jun 22, 11 3:06

Post #47 of 126 (2705 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpaulson518] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

jpaulson518 wrote:
Is it fair to let someone who has an impairment but not total blindness compete against someone who is completely blind?

Yes, because in both cases there is a lifetime of learning there. People in total blindness are instantly given a distinct advantage when you further handicap a visually impaired person. A visually impaired person accustom to receiving 'light cues' can no longer use the tools they have spent their entire lifetime utilizing.


Nova

Jun 22, 11 4:53

Post #48 of 126 (2680 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [monty] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

monty wrote:
I'm positive that if I were to train completely blacked out for a month or two, I would adapt and be very competitive, most likely kick some serious blind ass. Would I be as good as I am now, of course not.

I have read some seriously stupid remarks on ST, but this one is so far off the stupid chart it doesn't even register.

It's really simple. Let the doctors decide if you meet the "blind" criteria and race under that. The level of blindness does not matter as long as you meet the criteria, period.

For all you saying run with glass, put some black out glasses on for 15 minutes. Try do do the most mundane things. Then imagine what it would be like to be like that for the rest of your life.


Maui5150

Jun 22, 11 5:32

Post #49 of 126 (2651 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [monty] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

monty wrote:
I'm positive that if I were to train completely blacked out for a month or two, I would adapt and be very competitive, most likely kick some serious blind ass. Would I be as good as I am now, of course not. Just like the partially sighted folks would not be as good as they would be with 20% sight, but that is not the point. If we are going to compete against "completely " blind athletes, and that is the international/national standard, then level that playing field and see who is the best athlete, not the person who barley sneaks into the category with possibly inferior skills.

Put up or shut up.

Prove it.

You have no conception of what you are talking about. At 10 - 15% vision, pretty much he is just making out thinks like light, shadows, the horizon, etc. Depth recognition, something you take for granted is pretty much nil. This is not a question of you squinting or putting on sunglasses at night to try and simulate it, this is more about how the brain processes sight signals as a whole related to balance and equilibrium. Requiring a person who has partial vision to such a tiny percent and requiring them to wear blackout glasses can pretty much put them in a condition called vestibular balance disorder.

Then again, maybe you single single leg amputees have an unfair advantage over double leg amputees so should require the other leg to be removed to compete. That is a much closer example to what is happening to Aaron.

So PROVE it. Lets see you do it. I think you will find sight plays a huge in balance and equilibrium, and forcing somebody who really can't see, but really can make out object and generally either can't see more than 10 feet or 10% range of vision.


Francois

Jun 22, 11 6:00

Post #50 of 126 (2615 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpaulson518] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Clydesdales? What's that? Aside from a bad analogy...sorry man...true 'clydesdales' race with their age group and don't bring their
weight in the equation...Those who are strong built realize they do a sport that is probably not best suited for their physiques, and
tough it out with the lightweights. And some of these guys really kick ass. Those who are just fat and want a special division, well
that's just total bullshit. They can lose weight...people with poor vision can't do anything about it. Overweight folks can.
-------------------------------------------

http://www.fmcoaching.com / http://elpasotricoaching.wordpress.com / currently accepting new athletes.


jkbrennan77

Jun 22, 11 6:10

Post #51 of 126 (2462 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Transgender] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

From http://www.usatriathlon.org/...thlon/classification:

"Visual Impairment: legally Blind (20/200 vision with best corrective vision)."
"To qualify for ITU international and USAT sanctioned events, an athlete must meet the minimum disability standard of having a permanent and specific loss of at least 15% function."


So the logic is: if you see 20/200 you must wear blackout glasses to take you to 0/200 to make it fair. By this logic a person with an amputation just above the elbow should be forced to tie his arm behind his back to make it fair to the people with arm amputations at the shoulder. Penalizing someone with a disability to make it "fair" is just ridiculous on its face. There are already 6 classifications, if people with 0/200 vision really think there needs to be a 7th then just make a 7th.

There are rules about what constitutes a legal bike but the logic above would say everyone must ride the exact same bike - and it would need to be the least common denominator i.e., my cheap store-brand bike not a P3.


Nova

Jun 22, 11 6:27

Post #52 of 126 (2449 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jkbrennan77] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

jkbrennan77 wrote:
From http://www.usatriathlon.org/...thlon/classification:

"Visual Impairment: legally Blind (20/200 vision with best corrective vision)."
"To qualify for ITU international and USAT sanctioned events, an athlete must meet the minimum disability standard of having a permanent and specific loss of at least 15% function."


So the logic is: if you see 20/200 you must wear blackout glasses to take you to 0/200 to make it fair. By this logic a person with an amputation just above the elbow should be forced to tie his arm behind his back to make it fair to the people with arm amputations at the shoulder. Penalizing someone with a disability to make it "fair" is just ridiculous on its face. There are already 6 classifications, if people with 0/200 vision really think there needs to be a 7th then just make a 7th.

There are rules about what constitutes a legal bike but the logic above would say everyone must ride the exact same bike - and it would need to be the least common denominator i.e., my cheap store-brand bike not a P3.

I do not want this to be about me...

But in the same light, if I race female, which is on my license, but I haven't had the surgery, do I have to have the surgery first?

I find if very funny that the people making the rules are fully sighted and have absolutely no idea what the fvck they are talking about. Let them live with a disability for a short time and they may "see" it differently.

The idea of equality in racing is absurd anyway. Now everybody has to ride the exact same bike, wear the same suit and train the exact same way. It's only fair since Joe athlete has more time to train he should be in the 15-20hours training week wave. Or the genetic freak wave.


creek

Jun 22, 11 6:37

Post #53 of 126 (2439 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [formerfatass] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

formerfatass wrote:
jpaulson518 wrote:
Is it fair to let someone who has an impairment but not total blindness compete against someone who is completely blind?


Yes, because in both cases there is a lifetime of learning there. People in total blindness are instantly given a distinct advantage when you further handicap a visually impaired person. A visually impaired person accustom to receiving 'light cues' can no longer use the tools they have spent their entire lifetime utilizing.


Would this not give him an advantage over someone who is totally blind? I don't know the answer but it seems that the rule is there to level the playing field.

ETA: The problem I have with his suit has nothing to do with his disability nor am I choosing sides. It just bothers me when someone who chooses to participate in an organized sport sues because they do not like the rules. If you don't like the rules don't participate or work within the organization to get them changed. Newsflash - triathlon is not real life. It is a recreational activity we choose to participate in. Before you call me insensative, my father was blind the last 12 years of his life. I have seen the effect it has on someone, but that does not give someone the right to tell an organization that runs an activity that is totally voluntary, how they should do things.


(This post was edited by creek on Jun 22, 11 6:45)


Nova

Jun 22, 11 6:46

Post #54 of 126 (2423 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [creek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

creek wrote:
formerfatass wrote:
jpaulson518 wrote:
Is it fair to let someone who has an impairment but not total blindness compete against someone who is completely blind?


Yes, because in both cases there is a lifetime of learning there. People in total blindness are instantly given a distinct advantage when you further handicap a visually impaired person. A visually impaired person accustom to receiving 'light cues' can no longer use the tools they have spent their entire lifetime utilizing.


Would this not give him an advantage over someone who is totally blind? I don't know the answer but it seems that the rule is there to level the playing field.

Level what field? Is the field level in your AG? DO you all race the same bike? Wheels, tires? Do you all have the exact same time training?

What about the person leading the blind person? What if they are stronger on the bike than the other blind guys? OMFG, now they have to be watt tested to make sure they don't have an advantage.

What if the totally blind guy was 20lbs lighter than the seeing guy, should he have to carry weights?

What about the time they have been blind? Wouldn't someone that has been blind for 20 years have an advantage over someone that has only been blind 5 years.

This whole thing of equality is absurd. Nothing is ever equal, it never will be. If you meet the qualifications of blind by the rule book, then your blind, the degree of blind should not be an issue.


psychosyd

Jun 22, 11 6:52

Post #55 of 126 (2414 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpaulson518] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Dumbest thing I have heard in a while. Obviously you have no clue.

The issue is that they are making people do something that is unsafe. In the past there have been different categories that take into consideration different abilities.

What they are doing is forcing them to wear these glasses making them 100% blind. This is not fair to those that have some vision because they don't function fully blind. It would be the same as asking you to race with no vision. They have some vision, but not enough to race safely on their own, which is why they can't race in the normal AG. Trust me, you don't want someone with 10% vision trying to ride a bike beside you. They need a guide, which to be fair, puts them in another category.

They are trying to get rid of the of the different categories to simplify things. This is a SAFETY issue. That is it. It is unsafe to ask someone who is unused to running with no vision to do so. Trust me, it is a big issue.

canadiantriathlete.blogspot.com
NCCP certified Comp| CTC coaching and PT coming soon!


jackmott

Jun 22, 11 6:52

Post #56 of 126 (2413 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [triguy98] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

yes training with blackout lenses would be the way to go if you want to compete against fully blind people.

its impossible to completely fairly accommodate everyone's unique situation. Should I sue for having low endurance talent?


triguy98 wrote:
I am hearing impaired. It presents a different set of challenges than visual impairment. However, there is a similarity here. No, my hearing isn't great, but without my hearing aid, my balance is off a little. If the athlete can pereive light, being thrust into the dark with blackout lenses would be an incredible challenge.

Those "arrive prepared" statements are absurd. You think they should have to train with blackout lenses? I am not sure how much that would help a ton, as they are not likely to wear them for the other 98% of their life.

With sentiments like the above posted, apparently this sport DOES need a lawsuit. People are simply ignorant of the reality faced by others.


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Peanut

Jun 22, 11 6:54

Post #57 of 126 (2408 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Transgender] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Transgender wrote:

I find if very funny that the people making the rules are fully sighted and have absolutely no idea what the fvck they are talking about. Let them live with a disability for a short time and they may "see" it differently.

Check out who is on the Paratriathlon committee - http://www.usatriathlon.org/...atriathlon/committee

I'd say they can check the box that says "living with a disability."


jpaulson518

Jun 22, 11 6:59

Post #58 of 126 (2400 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [psychosyd] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

So it was dumb to pose questions about my thoughts on the subject.

I'm sure you've read dumber things on this board, and if you read my follow up post, I'm still undecided on the issue, I was just throwing out some initial observations and questions.

I'm not an idiot on the internet that is going to fight to the ends of time on my half-thought-out opinions. I'm open to a debate and open to changing my views based on logical arguments.

You don't have to be an ass just because you disagree with someone. (Especially someone who was obviously not 100% on either side.) Read my other comment.


(This post was edited by jpaulson518 on Jun 22, 11 8:16)


Nova

Jun 22, 11 6:59

Post #59 of 126 (2399 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Peanut] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Peanut wrote:
Transgender wrote:


I find if very funny that the people making the rules are fully sighted and have absolutely no idea what the fvck they are talking about. Let them live with a disability for a short time and they may "see" it differently.


Check out who is on the Paratriathlon committee - http://www.usatriathlon.org/...atriathlon/committee

I'd say they can check the box that says "living with a disability."

Not one with sight issues.

  • Brian Leske, Co-chair: A five-time ITU above-knee world champion, three-time Hawaii Ironman finisher and former assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Brian lives in Boston.
  • Jon Beeson, Co-chair: He was ITU below-elbow world champ in ’01 and ’02 and manages property in Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • Tabi King: Formerly program director of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Tabi is now with Ossur, one of the largest prosthetics companies. She lives in San Diego.
  • David Curnow: David is a former TriFed vice president and honorary member of ITU. A quadriplegic since 1988, he is an assistant U.S. attorney from San Diego.
  • J.P. Theberge: Current ITU below-knee world champion, the newest member of the commission. Lives in San Diego.



wpcouch

Jun 22, 11 6:59

Post #60 of 126 (2398 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Transgender] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Transgender wrote:
Level what field? Is the field level in your AG? DO you all race the same bike? Wheels, tires? Do you all have the exact same time training?

+1

ITU/USAT don't set the same precedents or equality standards for able bodied AGrs or Pros. My competition isn't penalized because I am not as strong or well trained as they are (and trust me, they are stronger and better trained than me!)

I don't understand the need to make the playing field "level" in the para-divisions, especially if those fields are not "level" in AG/Pro
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MSUtri

Jun 22, 11 7:01

Post #61 of 126 (2389 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [creek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I know in HS when you didn't want to read a full paragraph you would read the first sentence, then skip to the last and call it good. But clearly, you're still doing that as you clearly did not read the second sentence in that post:

Quote:
People in total blindness are instantly given a distinct advantage when you further handicap a visually impaired person.


The point is, those who have been blind forever know how to be blind. You see blind people navigating the streets all the time with walking sticks, dogs, etc. Whether they are completely blind or not, only they know. However, it is about adaptation and adaptation does not happen within a matter of months like some other assclowns have mentioned previously. No, it takes years and neither you, I, nor anyone else on this forum want to really try to adapt to losing sight. The only way to adapt to a stimulus is to be subjected to it continuously, not just in training. In order to completely level the playing field, Aaron would have to wear the black-out goggles for years so that he could adapt to the stimulus (or lack thereof).

I know Aaron personally as he founded the MSU Triathlon Club and continues to be an active member. In the few times I have trained with him, it is clear that he has adapted to his level of blindness (which if you know anything about his disease, is progressive, thus making adaptation that much more difficult).
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psychosyd

Jun 22, 11 7:01

Post #62 of 126 (2386 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpaulson518] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Sorry, actually just got to the post where you stated that. Was a little jumping the gun at the start.

Still, this is a walk a mile in some one elses shoes type thing.

canadiantriathlete.blogspot.com
NCCP certified Comp| CTC coaching and PT coming soon!


jpaulson518

Jun 22, 11 7:03

Post #63 of 126 (2379 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Francois] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Francois wrote:
Clydesdales? What's that? Aside from a bad analogy...sorry man...true 'clydesdales' race with their age group and don't bring their
weight in the equation...Those who are strong built realize they do a sport that is probably not best suited for their physiques, and
tough it out with the lightweights. And some of these guys really kick ass. Those who are just fat and want a special division, well
that's just total bullshit. They can lose weight...people with poor vision can't do anything about it. Overweight folks can.


You failed to address the context of my analogy...so let me give you another one.

There are certain genetic factors that make some people better at triathlons than others, regardless of training or experience.

Do we need to find those factors and handicap those that have better suited genes in order to level the playing field for all categories (Pros, AGs, Vision Impaired)?

That was the point of the analogy.

Clearly that is something that everyone would disagree with for AG or Pro/Elite categories. There is already a standard that has been set to determine if someone is in the visually impaired category, beyond that isn't it just the same as being genetically different in the AG category?

I'm still a bit on the fence about the whole issue, but I feel like I'm leaning more to the side that they should not have to wear the black-out goggles.


Maui5150

Jun 22, 11 7:05

Post #64 of 126 (2373 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Francois] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Agree and disagree... I race AG and not Clydes results are the same... There are definitely fast Clydes in the 40-44 AG, so at many races while they may not win the AG, they would podium. Their decision as to how they want to classify themselves.

As far as loosing weight... They can to some extent, but are still disadvantaged. I am not near being single digit bodyfat percentage yet, but working on it... my 8% still is looking to be around 189 - 192, and we will see how with as I get closer if more muscle loss occurs that drops this lower. It is what it is


Peanut

Jun 22, 11 7:06

Post #65 of 126 (2373 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Transgender] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Transgender wrote:
Peanut wrote:
Transgender wrote:


I find if very funny that the people making the rules are fully sighted and have absolutely no idea what the fvck they are talking about. Let them live with a disability for a short time and they may "see" it differently.


Check out who is on the Paratriathlon committee - http://www.usatriathlon.org/...atriathlon/committee

I'd say they can check the box that says "living with a disability."


Not one with sight issues.


  • Brian Leske, Co-chair: A five-time ITU above-knee world champion, three-time Hawaii Ironman finisher and former assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Brian lives in Boston.
  • Jon Beeson, Co-chair: He was ITU below-elbow world champ in ’01 and ’02 and manages property in Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • Tabi King: Formerly program director of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Tabi is now with Ossur, one of the largest prosthetics companies. She lives in San Diego.
  • David Curnow: David is a former TriFed vice president and honorary member of ITU. A quadriplegic since 1988, he is an assistant U.S. attorney from San Diego.
  • J.P. Theberge: Current ITU below-knee world champion, the newest member of the commission. Lives in San Diego.

You said "a disability", not "a sight disability". Having no background in the area, would you guess that committee members would have more compassion, less compassion, or be neutral when talking about others' disabilities of which they don't have direct, first-hand experience? I have no clue.


Francois

Jun 22, 11 7:08

Post #66 of 126 (2364 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Maui5150] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

As I said, for those of you getting to low body fat well, it's just that you picked a sport not ideally suited for your physique.
Just do the best of it. I wouldn't ask for a (much) lower hoop if I played basketball ;-)
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psychosyd

Jun 22, 11 7:15

Post #67 of 126 (2351 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [psychosyd] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Also, to further on this post, it is not that he is only now jumping on this. They have been fighting this since day one with no real give and take from the ITU.

The initial rule was put in place without any consultation with Aaron (by far the fastest and most active blind athlete in the world) or any other visually impaired athlete that I am aware of.

They have tried to tackle this without taking it to court, but nothing was done. It is not just Aaron that has an issue with this. It is every blind athlete that competes in triathlon that I have talked to(I am not aware of all, but do know many). Yes, he can compete in an open category, but when it comes to competing in the paraolympics (which is his and many others goal) It is now a concern. This is why this is an issue now. With triathlon possibly being an exhibition sport in London and definetely in the olympics after he needs to get things clarrified.

The easy solution to this is to keep with having different categories for different impairments. Simple. Yes, you need to hand out more medals, but it will be fair, and it will be safe.

With regards to training with blackout glasses. All athletes want to perform their best with what they are given. He has some vision (trust me it sucks) and still can see a bit. Which is an advantage over those who are completely blind. He will not be able to do his best (even with training time) being forced to wear these glasses. It is impossible for him to run as fast with them as without.

I find it stupid that the ITU has made this distinction and that USAT has adopted it as well. The Paraolympics is about inclusion and doing the best you can with what you have. It is not about making someone more disabled than they allready are.

There are other ways to deal with this as well. They could put in a handicapping(sorry couldn't think of a better word :>) system (ala golf) where the athletes are given time penalties depending on their exact disability.

The ITU has not considered any other option. This is why it is an issue, and while I don't like the idea of taking it to the courts, I can see why he is frustrated and has resorted to this.

canadiantriathlete.blogspot.com
NCCP certified Comp| CTC coaching and PT coming soon!


(This post was edited by psychosyd on Jun 22, 11 7:17)


Maui5150

Jun 22, 11 7:16

Post #68 of 126 (2348 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [creek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I think the intent on the rule is meant to level the playing field, but it is misguided, insensitive and endangers or impairs the athletes life. This is less about what little visual clues the person lives with on a daily basis, but more of taking someone who is impaired and INCREASING their impairment to race. This unfamiliarity and loss of the horizon and equilibrium puts them at a severe disadvantage compared to someone who has adapted and lives their lives without any sight


kament

Jun 22, 11 7:19

Post #69 of 126 (2341 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jackmott] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I am the "unprepared" blind athlete who was sought out by a USAT official on the morning of a triathlon and told that black out glasses were required. This was in direct contradiction to what USAT employees had stated at the paratriathlon summit, black out glasses would not be required in local US races without implications in international and Paralympics competition. Having been so informed, I was, of course, "unprepared" to comply with a non-existent rule. I imagine that you too would be simply "unprepared" to run with black out glasses on the morning of a triathlon if you had been so informed that they were not required. For all of you who are so concerned about making this sport fair for the totally blind, those of us opposed to the black out glasses have repeatedly suggested to USAT that there be multiple competition categories for blind athletes so that everyone can compete to the best of their ability, rather than enduring additional handicaps for an activity that is supposed to be fun. USAT has refused to make such a rule, even though that is what most Paralympics sports do. Since there can be only one category for the blind and visually impaired, and the choice is between some degree of unfairness to the few totally blind participants and unsafe racing for the majority who are partially sighted, I think that the totals should yield.


Maui5150

Jun 22, 11 7:22

Post #70 of 126 (2332 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Francois] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

My point was more directed at: "They can lose weight...people with poor vision can't do anything about it. Overweight folks can."

I agree and accept in general my performance is greatly dictated by carrying more muscle mass, especially on the run. That is life. I was more pointing out that even when cut and single digit, many racers are either still Clydesdales or border on the classification. While they may improve their performance, they are still disadvantaged.


AlwaysCurious

Jun 22, 11 7:31

Post #71 of 126 (2319 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [kament] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

kament wrote:
Since there can be only one category for the blind and visually impaired, and the choice is between some degree of unfairness to the few totally blind participants and unsafe racing for the majority who are partially sighted, I think that the totals should yield.

It's already been covered that you're not "required" to wear the blackout glasses to race--you're free to race without in the Physically Challenged Open division. So it boils down to you thinking that those with a lesser disability (partially sighted) should take precedence over those with a greater disability (totally blind), simply because there are more of you. Nice.

Why is it so important for you to race in the same division as those who have a greater disability?


creek

Jun 22, 11 7:31

Post #72 of 126 (2319 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [MSUtri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Are you addressing this to me? I possed a question and clearly stated that I didn't know the answer. My issue is not with anything that you just posted. Put it back in you pants big boy, you are just showing your ass.


psychosyd

Jun 22, 11 7:33

Post #73 of 126 (2314 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [AlwaysCurious] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Think you misread the post. He said that he wouldn't mind racing in one category without the goggles.

canadiantriathlete.blogspot.com
NCCP certified Comp| CTC coaching and PT coming soon!


kament

Jun 22, 11 7:36

Post #74 of 126 (2310 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [AlwaysCurious] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

AlwaysCurious wrote:
kament wrote:
Why is it so important for you to race in the same division as those who have a greater disability?

I would advocate multiple categories for visual impairment within the para-division. But I don't think that partially sighted people should be regulated to the open wave (in which there are often not even awards) when there are more of us and when all we want to do is perform at our maximum level.


Nova

Jun 22, 11 7:36

Post #75 of 126 (2308 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Peanut] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I actually caught that myself but was to lazy to edit it.

I believe those that make the rules that dictate what others should do, should at least have some understanding of the impact of those rules. I notice that they aren't putting ridiculous rules on themselves. The notion of trying "level the playing field" is ludicrous. It can't be done, and to put rules in place tat would actually endanger an athlete is completely crazy.


creek

Jun 22, 11 7:37

Post #76 of 126 (2227 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Maui5150] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Maui5150 wrote:
I think the intent on the rule is meant to level the playing field, but it is misguided, insensitive and endangers or impairs the athletes life. This is less about what little visual clues the person lives with on a daily basis, but more of taking someone who is impaired and INCREASING their impairment to race. This unfamiliarity and loss of the horizon and equilibrium puts them at a severe disadvantage compared to someone who has adapted and lives their lives without any sight

I agree with the bolded portion completely. The rule, on it's face, makes no sense to me.

The problem I have is that tris are something that we choose to do. We are not forced to participate. When I choose to participate in a sporting event, I follow the rules that the organizer has established. If I don't like them, I have the option of not participating.


psychosyd

Jun 22, 11 7:40

Post #77 of 126 (2223 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [creek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The issue is an issue because of triathlon's inclusion into the paraolympics. These new rules will apply there and to all qualifying races for it.

If he doesn't race with the glasses he will not be able to race at the olympics. This is a BIG deal as I am sure you can understand. For an athlete that has spent so much time at a sport and for an opportunity like this to be tainted by a stupid rule is not fair.

canadiantriathlete.blogspot.com
NCCP certified Comp| CTC coaching and PT coming soon!


Nova

Jun 22, 11 7:52

Post #78 of 126 (2210 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [creek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

creek wrote:
Maui5150 wrote:
I think the intent on the rule is meant to level the playing field, but it is misguided, insensitive and endangers or impairs the athletes life. This is less about what little visual clues the person lives with on a daily basis, but more of taking someone who is impaired and INCREASING their impairment to race. This unfamiliarity and loss of the horizon and equilibrium puts them at a severe disadvantage compared to someone who has adapted and lives their lives without any sight


I agree with the bolded portion completely. The rule, on it's face, makes no sense to me.

The problem I have is that tris are something that we choose to do. We are not forced to participate. When I choose to participate in a sporting event, I follow the rules that the organizer has established. If I don't like them, I have the option of not participating.

Your stance is: If you don't like the rules, don't race.

That's it. No, if the rule is stupid and unfair and dangerous, do something to change it?

I don't agree with every rule in the world, but if I feel one is not right or dangerous, I can fight to have it changed. This rule fits into that category. And, for the USAT to turn their backs on these special athletes leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Have you ever seen the blind go off before the race? It's really something special. It takes a special person to dive into unknown waters and swim, then climb on a bike... Oh wait, run blind, I'd kill myself.

The rules are reckless and dangerous.


MSUtri

Jun 22, 11 8:50

Post #79 of 126 (2152 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [creek] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Only the first part about you skipping over the sentence that answered your own question.

The remainder of the post was not addressed to you at all. I was already a bit irritated with some of the ignorant comments that I had read and the frustration just happened to spill out after I responded to your post. I apologize if it came off as directed towards you.
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ian moone

Jun 22, 11 9:05

Post #80 of 126 (2139 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [MSUtri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

why making someone who is already challenged, totally impaired? we should be embracing anyone willing to stand on the starting line, and not make there life harder,

we make the life of big people easier, by having a clydesdale/athena division, perfectly knowing that a 6'5 200 pound is the same has a 5'6 140 pounds

my 2 cents


jbsurfin

Jun 22, 11 9:10

Post #81 of 126 (2131 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Slowman] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

We need a thumbs up or down button.. Would reduce a lot of redundant comments.. topics like these are either supported or not.. I could do a thumbs up and be done..
Thanks..


ssphone

Jun 22, 11 9:24

Post #82 of 126 (2121 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpb] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

jpb wrote:
ssphone wrote:
I will say this again and that is no doubt he is a talented athlete, but the crux of my original post is that Aaron is making mountains out of mole hills. He is wasting - IMO - the money of USAT, and I believe I help fund USAT every year. I am not a litigious person and I hate lawyers. Are you in favor of his lawsuit?
I'm agnostic on the lawsuit. I don't know what he's trying to achieve, so I can't say if it's a) a worthwhile goal and b) if a lawsuit is a reasonable way to achieve it. I just think it's mean-spirited of you to get on here and belittle the guy's accomplishments. He's a badass on the course, whatever you think of his actions off it, and it's stupid to try and take that away.


But getting back to Alcatraz for a second. What is your point? My point was that is it is *possible* that his times are faster than if he had 75% vision or even 100% vision. When you drag you weight up a hill you get that back when you go downhills
uh. You didn't read what I wrote.

- you are aware of that? He has probably 1500 watts climbing those hills, are they going to climb slower than others? Sure they and the rig weigh more but there is one drive-train, and they are putting out way more power than the average single person is. And who cares if it is technical? Are you referring to it being a tandem and tough to navigate?
See above. Read my post again.

Well I have seen tandems corner faster than triathletes. Sure Alcatraz is hard, and sure it might not suit him that well but what is your point? You are trying to find a course that it is not faster to have a guide???? All courses suit some athletes more than others, we all have to choose our races and we do have the choice.

And you bring up the run, well lets talk about the run for a second. Take the footing for instance, maybe because he has to be more careful he is able to keep a lower heart rate and thus do a better job of natural pacing.... You think that is BS, I have seen it happen numerous times. You take a speedy guy and you throw him in his first IM and he blows up because he was able to redline his body. You take a guy that has a natural governor that doesn't allow him to redline, thus he can't burn himself up, and his first IM is a success. Happens all the time.
You can reach for reasons that the guy has an advantage, but the point is that he goes crazy fast without being able to see. It's true that if I (a sighted person) had a guide I'd go a little faster than I do now, but HE CAN'T SEE. It seems like you're trying to make the point that he's faster than he would be if he were sighted. This is testable. Let's go get some blackout glasses and get us a couple of guides and find out what happens. I don't think I'd do as well.

We could debate this subject until the end of time but if you can't see a guide being a help then you are not thinking out of the box. Sure it goes both ways, and sure it is not as cut and dry as I make it but you can't just think of it as an apples-to-apples comparison either and that was my other real point.


===========================
I reread the parts you asked and yes I read them correctly the first time. I am not sure what you are talking about in asking me to reread them.

Regardless I think the thing you keep forgetting is that Aaron is only partly blind. We can try to put ourselves in his shoes, but we won't know what he sees. What I do know is that I have seen him walking around and about numerous times and he looks nothing like a blind person. Go watch the way a blind person walks around and look at them. I am not sure what Aaron sees but he sees something, and he sees enough to navigate around perfectly fine on his own.

And I am not trying to belittle Aaron's accomplishments, and I believe I have stated every time that he is a tremendous athlete. My point was that it is simply not as clear-cut as everyone seems to make it. There are many more factors that I am not even considering, and the answer to what is gained and lost by his guide and impaired vision is very complex. But to be ignorant and assume it provides no advantages is very short-sighted.


ian moone

Jun 22, 11 9:25

Post #83 of 126 (2116 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jbsurfin] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

thumbs down for you to make stupid comments like this, again it is a FORUM,

Forums prefer a premise of open and free discussion and often adopt de facto standards. Most common topics on forums include questions, comparisons, polls of opinion as well as debates. It is not uncommon for nonsense or unsocial behavior to sprout as people lose temper, especially if the topic is controversial. Poor understanding of differences in values of the participants is a common problem on forums. Because replies to a topic are often worded aimed at someone's point of view, discussion will usually go slightly off into several directions as people question each others' validity, sources and so on. Circular discussion and ambiguity in replies can extend for several tens of posts of a thread eventually ending when everyone gives up or attention spans waver and a more interesting subject takes over. It is not uncommon for debate to end in ad hominem attacks.


jbsurfin

Jun 22, 11 9:29

Post #84 of 126 (2112 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [thierry64] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

well when I continue to read comments that show ignorance.. I'll still take the choice of a thumbs up or down..

So lets see your ignorance now, the light is on you.


ian moone

Jun 22, 11 9:54

Post #85 of 126 (2089 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jbsurfin] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

the light is so bright i can't see a thing, on the other hand the economy is so bad they have turned the light at the end of the tunnel

your turn :)


lacticturkey

Jun 22, 11 10:23

Post #86 of 126 (2065 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [monty] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

monty wrote:

And I do not buy the argument that partially sighted folks somehow are now at some disadantage because they now have to race dark, that is simply not true. I'm positive that if I were to train completely blacked out for a month or two, I would adapt and be very competitive, most likely kick some serious blind ass. .


lol, I can't believe you said that


(This post was edited by lacticturkey on Jun 22, 11 10:50)


MGroaning

Jun 22, 11 10:38

Post #87 of 126 (2058 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I'd like to step back for a second and get out of the emotional/personal comments in this discussion and ask the following "strategic" question:

The lawsuit is being filed in the US District Court. There is no monetary aspect to the suit...they just want USAT to change the rule. Now, based on what several people have mentioned, he wants to go to the paralympics (as do many other visually impaired athletes)...thus, the lawsuit to prompt a rule change.

Let's assume that this suit goes to court and they win. USAT changes the rule. He and everyone else that is visually impaired in the US can race without total black out glasses during the run. Now...the ITU doesn't change the rule. He's back to square one with plans for the paralympics.

The ITU is an international governing body. Even if you went to the Canadian courts where the ITU is housed/established and file a law suit, there are FIVE Federations (Africa, Asian, Panamerican, European and Oceania). You'll have to get concensus from all of the Federations. Even if they were to win in US courts, that certainly doesn't even guarantee adoption by the Panamerican Federation....

I can totally understand this "path" to bring about a discussion for a rule change but if ultimate goal is a change at the ITU level, a broader campaign and bigger picture strategy should be established.
Haka Multisport, LLC

Discover your inner warrior


Nova

Jun 22, 11 10:49

Post #88 of 126 (2045 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Moudi] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Moudi wrote:
I'd like to step back for a second and get out of the emotional/personal comments in this discussion and ask the following "strategic" question:

The lawsuit is being filed in the US District Court. There is no monetary aspect to the suit...they just want USAT to change the rule. Now, based on what several people have mentioned, he wants to go to the paralympics (as do many other visually impaired athletes)...thus, the lawsuit to prompt a rule change.

Let's assume that this suit goes to court and they win. USAT changes the rule. He and everyone else that is visually impaired in the US can race without total black out glasses during the run. Now...the ITU doesn't change the rule. He's back to square one with plans for the paralympics.

The ITU is an international governing body. Even if you went to the Canadian courts where the ITU is housed/established and file a law suit, there are FIVE Federations (Africa, Asian, Panamerican, European and Oceania). You'll have to get concensus from all of the Federations. Even if they were to win in US courts, that certainly doesn't even guarantee adoption by the Panamerican Federation....

I can totally understand this "path" to bring about a discussion for a rule change but if ultimate goal is a change at the ITU level, a broader campaign and bigger picture strategy should be established.

They have to start somewhere.


MGroaning

Jun 22, 11 11:21

Post #89 of 126 (2020 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Transgender] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Transgender wrote:
Moudi wrote:
I'd like to step back for a second and get out of the emotional/personal comments in this discussion and ask the following "strategic" question:

The lawsuit is being filed in the US District Court. There is no monetary aspect to the suit...they just want USAT to change the rule. Now, based on what several people have mentioned, he wants to go to the paralympics (as do many other visually impaired athletes)...thus, the lawsuit to prompt a rule change.

Let's assume that this suit goes to court and they win. USAT changes the rule. He and everyone else that is visually impaired in the US can race without total black out glasses during the run. Now...the ITU doesn't change the rule. He's back to square one with plans for the paralympics.

The ITU is an international governing body. Even if you went to the Canadian courts where the ITU is housed/established and file a law suit, there are FIVE Federations (Africa, Asian, Panamerican, European and Oceania). You'll have to get concensus from all of the Federations. Even if they were to win in US courts, that certainly doesn't even guarantee adoption by the Panamerican Federation....

I can totally understand this "path" to bring about a discussion for a rule change but if ultimate goal is a change at the ITU level, a broader campaign and bigger picture strategy should be established.


They have to start somewhere.

I agree that they have to start somewhere. The two things I see as potential problems would be the following:

a) they are not being discriminated against with regard to competing in USAT sanctioned events. The USAT rules state that he can't compete for awards in the visually impaired category. For example, if an athlete that is a poor swimmer decides to use a wetsuit between water temps of 78.1 and 83.9, they can still "compete" but they can't receive awards or use that result for any USAT ranking. I would "legally" view the blacked out glasses in the same way. The visually impaired athletes are not banned from competing (e.g. discriminated against) if they choose not to use blacked out glasses. They just can't compete for awards or ranking points (in this case they can't build toward that Paralympic goal).

b) as stated, if the end goal is to have adoption at the ITU level, is there a public plan or campaign to have advocates or petitions that would be present at the next ITU rules summit?

As with many things, success in large organizations typically comes from the top down. I would assume that USAT adopted this rule as instituted from "above" (example of top-down communication/adoption). If one wants the greatest chance of success, one should aim for buy-in at the highest level. Once an international governing body adopts the idea, the national and local governing bodies would follow suit.
Haka Multisport, LLC

Discover your inner warrior


monty

Jun 22, 11 11:28

Post #90 of 126 (2007 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [lacticturkey] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

lol, I can't believe you said that //


Ok everyone, I do not know how to use the pink font, just assumed you would all get the humor in my statement, I guess not..(-;

At least you lauged at it, I think? lol


AaronT

Jun 22, 11 11:48

Post #91 of 126 (1987 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [psychosyd] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

psychosyd wrote:


The initial rule was put in place without any consultation with Aaron (by far the fastest and most active blind athlete in the world)


Under what criteria, with regards to the bold? Your statement may have been more accurate if you said he is the fastest VI Triathlete in the world, except that he did not win the ITU ParaTriathlon World Championship...

One of the issues paralympic competitions face is the need to classify athletes into group of similar disability. This is not the same as whining that you can't train as much as the guy that won your AG. A burly discuss thrower missing a leg below the knee is going to be no more competitive in ParaTriathlon than a 145lb bike racer with the same disability trying to compete in discuss. The classification system levels the playing field as best it can with regards to gross ability, it does not account for equipment, genetics, training, etc.

Also, it's easy to say, "just add another category." The problem is dilution of fields, you need numbers to justify a race and adding categories will make fields smaller. Then you have to convince countries to send athletes to fill the categories, but each nation has a limited amount of athletes it can take to the event. It's not such a clear-cut issue when you look at everything involved.


(This post was edited by AaronT on Jun 22, 11 11:51)


SoberBySaturday

Jun 22, 11 12:29

Post #92 of 126 (1965 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [ssphone] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

ssphone wrote:
He is faster on the run because he is fresher off the bike. He might be soft-pedaling for all we know - but at the very least he spent less time on his bike. So if he would have bike a 1:05 40K and bike a 55 then that is 10 minutes less of biking. Less biking equals more energy for running. Go out and ride a tandem sometime, or find one riding and try to hang onto them - it is a big difference regardless of aero position. I have never watched him swim, but it is possible that he is given space by other athletes and isn't climbed over etc, in addition he can draft swimming right off someones chest on their bow wave. There is no sighting involved either - all he has to do is follow the guide, and with a string attached he is going to be following the guide. Regardless of how it all works in actuality, the point I was making is that it is not a simple apples to apples comparison.


You are complete dip, per regulation Aaron must finish the race with the same guide that he starts the race with. Hence if Aaron did nothing on the bike and his guide pulled him through the entire course he would still be tethered to his guide for the run portion. Aaron has been DQ'd from races where his guide has bonked and he even went on to finish with the aide of multiple course spectators leading the way.


He has a website: http://www.cdifferentwithaaron.com/


(This post was edited by SoberBySaturday on Jun 22, 11 12:51)


psychosyd

Jun 22, 11 14:18

Post #93 of 126 (1922 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [AaronT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Trust me, he is the fastest VI athlete in the world. If he didn't win the race, it was becasue he wasn't in it.

At NYC last year he walked the run to protest the black out goggles (wearing them). Which was the NA champs.

I know for sure he has set the world record for a VI athlete at the 70.3 distance and the olympic distance. Pretty sure that would make him the fastest in the world.

canadiantriathlete.blogspot.com
NCCP certified Comp| CTC coaching and PT coming soon!


AaronT

Jun 22, 11 14:43

Post #94 of 126 (1905 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [psychosyd] (Deleted by AaronT) [In reply to]

 


draketriathlon

Jun 22, 11 14:57

Post #95 of 126 (1896 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [AaronT] (Deleted by draketriathlon) [In reply to]

 


AaronT

Jun 22, 11 15:26

Post #96 of 126 (1876 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [draketriathlon] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

You're right, I'm having an off day. I deleted that post.

(The next bit is not at drake)
I still think the points I brought up in the previous post should be considered.

Also, I'm not sure why Scheidies should have been consulted about a proposed rule change. The UCI did not ask Fabian if he was ok with the enforcement of 3:1, I doubt the ITU asked the last winner of a non-draft OD World Champ if he/she was ok with switching to the draft format.


RAC880

Jun 22, 11 15:32

Post #97 of 126 (1872 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [thierry64] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The former "Frenchman" who stated 6'5" 200 is the same as 5'6 160 is one of the dumbest comments I've seen in a while. Thank you.


ian moone

Jun 22, 11 15:43

Post #98 of 126 (1868 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [RAC880] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

5'6 140 lb, need to do your home work on body mass,


ian moone

Jun 22, 11 15:49

Post #99 of 126 (1860 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [thierry64] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Your Height: (feet) (inches) Your Weight: (pounds)
Your BMI:


6'5 200lb BMI 23.7

5'6 140lb BMI 22.6


Your Height: (feet) (inches) Your Weight: (pounds)
Your BMI:




SeasonsChange

Jun 22, 11 16:04

Post #100 of 126 (1842 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [thierry64] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

ideal body weight for a male

6'5= 185lbs
5'6= 140lbs


richhunter

Jun 22, 11 16:08

Post #101 of 126 (1757 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [psychosyd] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I chose to pursue the sport of triathlon as a way to engage in a healthy lifestyle, to set an example for my children about persevering in the face of adversity, and to model for others that one can still set ambitious goals in spite of life changing circumstances. I have been well received by fellow athletes at races and have been hugely inspired by those sighted guides who have committed to partnering with me for races and training purposes. Even though I’m not totally blind, I could not even dream of participating without guides. The fact of the matter is that most of us have great difficulty even finding training partners, and must rely on numerous training guides for the 3 prongs of the sport.
I network nationally in the visually impaired endurance community, encouraging and supporting visually impaired and blind athletes in both triathlon and marathon. To date, I only know one totally blind athlete in support of the blackout goggles rule. Aside from basic safety issues, the rule goes against the basic tenants of the American with Disabilities Act. The blackout goggles are not an accommodation (such as a tandem), and it actually creates an unreasonable restriction by further disabling a class of individuals. Almost as important is that we do this for fun, right? How many of you would want to participate in triathlon if you had to wear blackout goggles?
The way the rule is written now, all race directors should be enforcing the blackout goggles rule. The rules don’t even discriminate between domestic versus international competition. I’ve been told that the USAT Paratriathlon Committee is the one who recommended the rules to ITU, a committee with zero representation from the blind community. Now, USAT is taking shelter behind an organization which we can’t even approach.
Another thing that might interest some of you… Presently, there is no way for a visually impaired athlete to qualify for slots for world championships. VI triathletes cannot be folded into the age group mix due to the way we must participate. When you see a visually impaired athlete at a world championship event, it is because they received a lottery slot. So no, we can’t compete as age groupers, and no, we aren’t eligible for awards.
Aaron, along with others have been advocating for over a year to simply have representation on USAT committees governing disabled athletes and to add a 3 tier system for competition which is already being utilized nationally and internationally in other sports for the visually impaired:
Class B1
Possessing no light perception in either eye up to light perception, but inability to recognize the shape of a hand at any distance or in any direction.


Class B2
From ability to recognize the shape of a hand up to visual acuity of 20/600 and/or a visual field of less than five degrees in the best eye with the best practical eye correction.


Class B3
From visual acuity above 20/600 and up to visual acuity of 20/200 and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees and more than five degrees in the best eye with the best practical eye correction.
Unfortunately, USAT does nothing in spite of public statements made against the blackout goggles rule. Aaron clearly has the most at stake, but I’ve spoken to him and he is a passionate advocate for all of us.


CanadaPC

Jun 22, 11 16:41

Post #102 of 126 (1737 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Reading the various posts throughout the day, I find it interesting to see the polarity in opinion, personality, and understanding amoung the readers. As some have stated, you must truly walk a mile in someones shoes to be able to fully appreciate the position from which they are coming. Those of you who wish to have open debate and actually ask questions, i applaud you. For those who make statements with such certainty, I feel that this is unfortunate as you will surely be missing out on an opportunity to learn something about your fellow triathletes.
I personally have a unique view (no pun intended) on this subject and I hesitate to chime in, for fear of being ripped apart--but hey, what the heck, i've got thick skin.
My first 10 years of triathlon were under the guise of an age group athlete. Having been born with a degenerative eye condition I was able to compete alongside many of you at many Ironman races. However for the past three years i have been competing alongside Aaron and many other VI athletes.... I say "alongside" very loosely, as i consider myself ranked one of the faster VI athletes in North America, but rest assured Aaron is THE best.
The comments about "choosing" to be in the category and if i didn't want to wear the glasses, then i should just race age group; well those are pretty silly. TRUST ME! You do not want me racing solo on a course with you.
In fact in 2008 when my vision was "on the fence" with whether i should race solo or hang up the bike for good; i recieved many suggestions that i should not race age group as my vision was too poor.
For me to switch to para-triathlon in 2009 took a bit of my self esteem and dignity and threw it in the toilet. All the things i've accomplished as a solo triathlete seemed to be lost, when i hopped on the back of a tandem. Respect as an athlete was lost, when people called me a faker or a cheater. Again i say, YOU DON'T WANT ME TO RACE SOLO WITH YOU, as you would then be complaining "why did the stupid race director allow a blind guy to race with us? That is super dangerous"....
As my sight deteriorates, i must adapt on a daily basis, i can't run straight some days, i trip over everything, swimming even in a pool risks breaking a finger or smashing my head. For those that feel putting on the glasses just takes a bit of training, again i find this short sighted, ignorant, and just plain sad.
Aaron is not saying he wishes to race without glasses becasue he thinks he'll lose any advantage over totally blind athletes. Sure there is an advantage (in some regards) over a totally blind athlete, but what many people missing is the fact that the ITU and USAT just didn't want to do their homework. They wanted an easy fix, and thought they found that with the blackout rule.
There are seprate categories for blind athletes. Period!
There are plenty of diverse blind athletes capable of filling these 3 seperate categories. Period.

Aaron (along with many other VI athletes) are simply trying to be heard.
Like richhunter says, we are here to have fun.
I am here to enjoy the last bits of vision i have while i still have them, until i am totally blind in a few short years.

This is simply a case of safety, as even though i have 8-10% vision left, taking away even 1% would throw my world into a spin. It's not fun racing when you feel like you've drank all night and your world is spinning.

Let the VI individuals compete with the dignity and respect they deserve as athletes. We are not out there to cheat by riding tandems, we are not out there to "have our cake and eat it too"....


Tom Demerly

Jun 22, 11 17:26

Post #103 of 126 (1716 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [CanadaPC] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I don't get it.

Arent there established standards for what constitutes a serious visual impairment? I do not know.

In other words, if a person cannot get a driver's license because they can't pass a vision test and are judged "legally blind", isn't that all it takes to compete as a "blind" competitor?

That seems like a reasonable standard since it is already in place with driving standards- if you can;t pass a driving vision test and are judged legally blind- then you qualify to race in the blind category.

Tom Demerly
Editor, TriSports University
http://university.trisports.com/


AaronT

Jun 22, 11 17:30

Post #104 of 126 (1714 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [CanadaPC] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The issue is not tandems or dignity. You damn well better be allowed to race a tandem and run/swim with a guide in a non-draft race, perhaps in PC or in a tandem category. TTs often have tandem categories and no one blinks an eye (terrible pun there). This is not a discussion about someone that wants to have fun at a local race, the issue is ITU/USAT trying to establish the rules for elite level disabled competitors and competitions and the associated growing pains. The conversation will be most productive if it is kept inside those boundaries.

I'm not saying the goggles are the right way to go although they do offer one solution to the problem. The simple fact is that there cannot be 3 VI categories at the international level, but how do you make sure that the B/VI category is equal?


CanadaPC

Jun 22, 11 17:34

Post #105 of 126 (1711 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Tom Demerly] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Tom,
Pretty much, i have never had a driver's license, but read richhunter's post above with the three classes, B1, B2, B3. These are established "levels of blindess" that exist in other sports and we are currently aware of a decent number of athletes that fit into each one. ITU/USAT want to make one giant BLIND CATEGORY that everyone will fit into (becasue they will all wear the blackout glasses).. However we are saying there is evidence to fulfill the 3 categories.

Think of an arm amputee, one may have 1-3 inches more of their arm remaining. Do they have an advantage in the swim? in controlling their bike?
According to ITU/USAT, by their logic, we should require a "leveler" in the playing field and make sure all apendages are equal. Wow would that be an interesting thread of that happened!

It is just a matter of people taking a bit of time to understand and ask intelligent questions, such as yours.. Thank you!


Maui5150

Jun 22, 11 17:42

Post #106 of 126 (1708 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [CanadaPC] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I think the ITU and USAT have their heads so far up their collective a$$e$ on this one that they can lick their own colons like lollipops.

I think a 10 years could figure out this rule is unfair


dgunthert

Jun 22, 11 17:49

Post #107 of 126 (1702 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [thierry64] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

thierry64 wrote:
we make the life of big people easier, by having a clydesdale/athena division, perfectly knowing that a 6'5 200 pound is the same has a 5'6 140 pounds

my 2 cents

Can we leave the bullshit Clyde division out of this discussion? It never ceases to amaze me that an attribute that is an asset in most sports is treated as a special class in triathlon. I don't get much sympathy from 6'6" guys or play on a different court when I'm playing volleyball or basketball.


draketriathlon

Jun 22, 11 17:58

Post #108 of 126 (1693 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [AaronT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

AaronT wrote:
The issue is not tandems or dignity. You damn well better be allowed to race a tandem and run/swim with a guide in a non-draft race, perhaps in PC or in a tandem category. TTs often have tandem categories and no one blinks an eye (terrible pun there). This is not a discussion about someone that wants to have fun at a local race, the issue is ITU/USAT trying to establish the rules for elite level disabled competitors and competitions and the associated growing pains. The conversation will be most productive if it is kept inside those boundaries.

I'm not saying the goggles are the right way to go although they do offer one solution to the problem. The simple fact is that there cannot be 3 VI categories at the international level, but how do you make sure that the B/VI category is equal?

It has been kept inside those boundaries, however they got no where and so they decided to take the next step.


CanadaPC

Jun 22, 11 17:58

Post #109 of 126 (1693 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [AaronT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Excuse my ignorance here, but why can not have 3 VI categories? ITU/USAT stated that it was not possible becasue the numbers were not there. AT NYC triathlon last year we had 30+ VI athletes.
Yes, not all were Aaron's level, but that number is only indicative of USA and Canadian athletes. There are plenty of VI athletes world wide.
Perhaps this is another thread topic, but i pose that question to you, in the utmost respect and with not sarcasm attatched. Why not 3 categories?


CJS25

Jun 22, 11 18:05

Post #110 of 126 (1689 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I'm going to be a little off topic...but I'm originally from Michigan, and I find it entertaining that Richard Bernstein is representing him. The Bernstein commercials are hilarious with him because in them he is the only person facing the completely wrong way of the camera. As if his family didn't even care to correct him (as he is blind) in pointing him in the right direction TOWARD the camera.

Anyway...back on track...if US Triathlon changed the ruling, they would continue to sue for a quick buck.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
< Quitting Isn't An Option >



Peanut

Jun 22, 11 18:34

Post #111 of 126 (1672 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Transgender] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Transgender wrote:
Moudi wrote:
I'd like to step back for a second and get out of the emotional/personal comments in this discussion and ask the following "strategic" question:

The lawsuit is being filed in the US District Court. There is no monetary aspect to the suit...they just want USAT to change the rule. Now, based on what several people have mentioned, he wants to go to the paralympics (as do many other visually impaired athletes)...thus, the lawsuit to prompt a rule change.

Let's assume that this suit goes to court and they win. USAT changes the rule. He and everyone else that is visually impaired in the US can race without total black out glasses during the run. Now...the ITU doesn't change the rule. He's back to square one with plans for the paralympics.

The ITU is an international governing body. Even if you went to the Canadian courts where the ITU is housed/established and file a law suit, there are FIVE Federations (Africa, Asian, Panamerican, European and Oceania). You'll have to get concensus from all of the Federations. Even if they were to win in US courts, that certainly doesn't even guarantee adoption by the Panamerican Federation....

I can totally understand this "path" to bring about a discussion for a rule change but if ultimate goal is a change at the ITU level, a broader campaign and bigger picture strategy should be established.


They have to start somewhere.

If they win, I think it would be a hollow victory. So USAT lets him compete without blackout glasses, and then ITU invalidates the results because they didn't follow the international qualifying rules. Maybe they should just start at CAS.


treadster

Jun 22, 11 18:36

Post #112 of 126 (1671 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

You lost me when you said "discrimination". That is a word that is used way too much. Frankly, I could not care less about the handicapped. Just look at any store parking lot. Handicapped spaces filled with the fat and lazy. I have become completely desensitized to their plight. Please excuse my rant!


techknowgn

Jun 22, 11 18:38

Post #113 of 126 (1670 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [jpaulson518] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

jpaulson518 wrote:
I've had a second thought on this.

In the Clydesdale division you do not make the competitors wear weights until they are all equal in weight to the heaviest competitor.

There is a cutoff and everyone above the cutoff is allowed in the division.

By the same logic,is it enough to say that everyone below a certain visibility is in the sight impaired wave regardless of how impaired they are?

My original post was not for sure one way or the other, my questions were really just questions,I'm pretty open to debate...I know it's weird to find that on the Internet huh?

I am the heaviest triathlete in every race ive been in (not something im proud of, just a fact). I bet if you made the guys just over the weight threshhold carry the extra weight difference i have over them, Id probably be very competitive in the clyde division. im used to it, they arent. Could they carry the weight in training? yeah, but it would still take a lot of time to adapt to that and my guess is no one would ever want to do it.

The paratriathlete division has a ton of different differently abled athletes in it. I have a friend with dwarfism, who just finished his first half-ironman on Saturday at the race I was in. Another gentleman in the race was visually impaired, and a 3rd was a below the knee amputee on a single leg. It's the biggest para wave Ive seen in a new england race.

If they were really going to balance it out, theyd have made John (the little person) and the single leg amputee wear blackout goggles, and the blind guy should have had to peddle and run on his knees.

Para is a threshold based sport, and realistically, the blackout goggles set a very tight threshold that doesnt fit with the rest of how society works with the blind. theres a minimum standard, not a maximum standard. I mean the guy who was the single leg amputee didnt have to have his other leg cut off to participate.
-------------------------------------
You don't have to like what I say but you should respect my right to say them and I'll do the same to you.


psychosyd

Jun 22, 11 18:40

Post #114 of 126 (1667 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [CJS25] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

They are not suing for money. They simply want the rule changed. Not everyone is in it for "a quick buck", although nowadays it seems to be more and more the case.

canadiantriathlete.blogspot.com
NCCP certified Comp| CTC coaching and PT coming soon!


jpaulson518

Jun 22, 11 18:49

Post #115 of 126 (1662 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [treadster] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

If you aren't trolling then you are a complete asshole. Most disabled people have no control over their disability, including my wife who suffers from full body RSD/CRPS and knows more pain than you can ever imagine to know. She is neither fat nor lazy, but you sir are an ass.


Kevin in MD

Jun 22, 11 19:08

Post #116 of 126 (1656 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [ssphone] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

ssphone wrote:
Then there was a trail run where the RD spray painted the trail with orange paint I couldn't see it and thus couldn't even follow the course.... I chalk it up to ignorance on the RD part.

I work in acquisition for the DOD. You will find that most general issue military equipment is not color coded for this very reason. Or if it is, ten the color coding is redundant and not necessary. It was something I had never considered until we were discussing having something color coded and someone else brought up that if we did that then we would have to change personnel rules that the operators could not be color blind.

Now I know of course, but it was just one of those things I was totally ignorant of.


ssphone

Jun 22, 11 19:28

Post #117 of 126 (1647 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Kevin in MD] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Most people are ignorant of it and frankly I don't blame them. How can people fathom what a color blind person sees. Like anything it all starts with education, but as the all adage goes, "there is safety in numbers" and there just are not enough color blind people out there.


stageracer

Jun 22, 11 19:35

Post #118 of 126 (1643 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Since a lot of comments are coming from people who have no clue to what 'visually impaired' means, I suggest some of you read Eye Envy written by Michael Stone of Boulder. Michael suffers from rod and cone dystrophy and has been competing in triathlon for decades. The book may give you some insight (yes, I did that on purpose) on what varied levels of VI affect people.
Global Sales Manager
XLab-USA


AaronT

Jun 22, 11 20:32

Post #119 of 126 (1622 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [CanadaPC] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

CanadaPC wrote:
Excuse my ignorance here, but why can not have 3 VI categories? ITU/USAT stated that it was not possible becasue the numbers were not there. AT NYC triathlon last year we had 30+ VI athletes.
Yes, not all were Aaron's level, but that number is only indicative of USA and Canadian athletes. There are plenty of VI athletes world wide.
Perhaps this is another thread topic, but i pose that question to you, in the utmost respect and with not sarcasm attatched. Why not 3 categories?

Medal quotas: The Paralympic Games serve as the basis for every decision made about international Para sports, and there has to be a limit of how many medals are awarded for each event. Combining similar, but not identical, disabilities strengthens the fields. It allows the very best athletes to compete at the games and keeps the competition strong. There are not multiple categories for other disabilities, someone with an arm amputated above the elbow is in the same category as someone missing a hand or someone with brachial plexus palsy. The goal is strong competition instead of universal inclusion which is what the Paralympics need in order to be taken as a serious sporting event as opposed to an inspirational sideshow.


psychosyd

Jun 23, 11 4:46

Post #120 of 126 (1584 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [AaronT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Putting black out goggles on someone makes it a sideshow. How embarrassed would you be running around with those on?

I agree that having everyone competing on a level playing field would be ideal. This is not the solution. There are other options. Like the handicapping I talked of earlier. Everybody races as normal, but people with different levels of visual impairment get different time penalties. Simple, and allows everyone to know where they stand.

The goggles are an illconcieved solution.

I think the whole situation started because the ITU was trying to get triathlon into the olympics and trying to appease the olympic committees concerns.

Does anyone know how the other sports deal with this issue? How about cross country skiing? I would think that would be an apt comparison.

canadiantriathlete.blogspot.com
NCCP certified Comp| CTC coaching and PT coming soon!


Nova

Jun 23, 11 5:10

Post #121 of 126 (1578 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [treadster] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

treadster wrote:
You lost me when you said "discrimination". That is a word that is used way too much. Frankly, I could not care less about the handicapped. Just look at any store parking lot. Handicapped spaces filled with the fat and lazy. I have become completely desensitized to their plight. Please excuse my rant!

You are an ass.

My roommate was a marathon runner and is thin, fit and handicapped. If you see her getting out of the car you would think she in no way needs to park there. What you don't know is that after 5 minutes on her feet she is in agony and can barely walk, and in some cases confined to a wheel chair for the rest of the day.

So that fat and lazy person may very well be fat and lazy because they are incapable of exercise and therefore weight loss. It's insensitive, ignorant jackasses like you that make my roommate hate parking in her given spot. She would rather spend the day in agony in bed because she is afraid some jerkoff might say something.

Their is a special place in hell for you


richhunter

Jun 23, 11 6:40

Post #122 of 126 (1543 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [psychosyd] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

As I read these posts, I’m heartened to know that a number of those following this dialogue have a sincere interest in understanding the decision.

There are in fact other sports which require blackout goggles at the highest level of competition- alpine skiing and Nordic skiing both require blackout goggles. I must note, however, that the goggles are ONLY required by B1 competitors (those who are totally blind up to light perception only). Those with vision impairments (B2 and B3) do not wear blackened out goggles. The same is also true for swimming and track and field. In running events, blackout goggles are also only worn by B1 runners and are only required up to and including 1500 meters. Beyond 1500 meters, no visually impaired or blind athlete is required to wear blackout goggles. I’ve been told by a representative of the United States Olympic Committee that past practice has shown that when there are not enough competitors within a classification, and it is necessary to combine B1/2/3, everyone participates without equalizing restrictions, which means that the totally blind athletes are the ones at a disadvantage. There is NO precedent for USAT’s rule and is not consistent with blind sports history. They are making it up as they go with ZERO input from the visually impaired community. Again, I was told that USAT is the one who proposed the rule to ITU, so USAT needs to undo an injustice. Furthermore, I hope people understand that, although this rule was put into place with the Paralympics in mind, it is the rule of the land because it is in the USAT Bible. It impacts every single VI athlete in the country, not just Aaron, USAT representatives are showing up at races and ensuring that this rule is enforced at your backyard triathlon. In addition to everything mentioned against this rule thus far, it deters participation. I just hope these USAT henchman don’t try to force me to wear them at my Ironman this year. I can’t even imagine running a marathon with those things on. I can just hear it now, “Your and Ironman” and then I get dq’d for not wearing the glasses. It could happen, because those are the rules! If I listened to some of you, I should just suck it up and follow the rules. Well… some rules are ill conceived and need to be changed. USAT has made adjustments to rules as the sport has progressed. In this case, they are IGNORING the visually impaired community and are refusing to give us any spot on a committee which purports to represent disabled athletes.

When it comes to the blackout goggles rule, USAT does not discriminate between distances or type of event. NYC is a special case because they had to scramble at the last second to make adjustments due to similar pressures last year when droves of VI runners decided to descend upon NYC to show that there are more than just a few VI triathletes. Many more would have shown up if it weren’t for conflicts in their schedule, me being one of them since I was racing at the Vineman 70.3 the same day.

For those of you who believe this is unjust, please let USAT know. It does NOTHING for the sport at a time when the sport is taking off like wildfire. It only serves to discourage participation. We need your help. As the article states, the suit is only going to go forward if USAT continues to close their ears and eyes to this unjust/unsafe rule. Sometimes lawsuits are necessary, and it may be necessary. Aaron’s not even seeking monetary damages, just a rule change. If USAT is comprised of people who think like some of those who have posted on this topic, it will be a long haul.


treadster

Jun 23, 11 10:29

Post #123 of 126 (1489 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [Transgender] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

After thinking about my statement further, I know I was out of bounds in what I said and sounded insensitive so, I apologize for offending you and the other ST members. In fact, it's not the way I feel at all.

I think I need to qualify my statement about the handicapped. Years ago my wife worked for a successful businessman that was a quadaplegic. He had limited use of one hand. He could talk and dial a telephone with a callus on his wrist, and feed himself. He could not drive or get out of bed by himself. One day he went to the store and all the handicapped spaces were full. According to him, the spaces were occupied by, for the most part, vehicles driven by folks that he thought were not handicapped. In comparison to his disability they must have seemed fully capable to him.

My wife and I have donated about 2000 (2 thousand) hours of our time and several thousand dollars to various community charities over the past 6 years. I guess I just blew a gasket when I heard about someone suing someone else. I don't think it's discrimination to play by the rules. Maybe a more effective way to change the rules would be to get an advocate for the handicapped on the USAT board.


draketriathlon

Jun 23, 11 10:40

Post #124 of 126 (1483 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [treadster] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

treadster wrote:
I don't think it's discrimination to play by the rules. Maybe a more effective way to change the rules would be to get an advocate for the handicapped on the USAT board.

I really wish people would read the whole thread sometimes... They have been trying to work with USAT since the rule has been adopted and trying to get it modified or removed but they have not done anything. I believe this has been approx a year or so. Since they believe they have enough support of a large number of blind athletes they decided to sue for ZERO financial gain only to get the rule changed.


dbigoney

Jun 24, 11 10:37

Post #125 of 126 (1430 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [richhunter] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I think this lawsuit is completely justified and only hope it will set things in motion in favor of getting rid of this rediculous Black Out Glasses rule. It was only a matter of time before someone in the Visually Impaired/Blind community took action to this degree. As for me, I am a totally Blind with no light perception individual and I think the Black Out Glasses rule is a load of crap. Though I am all in favor of equaling the playing field between partially sighted and totally Blind individuals, this Black Out Glasses rule is not the way to do it. Not long after this rule was put into effect, a large number of the Visually Impaired and Blind community spoke out to USAT in favor of getting rid of this rule. Their was even an effort made to come up with an alternative which broke the Visually Impaired and Blind athletes into different categories however this solution seemed to fall on deaf ears at USAT. This Black Out Glasses rule is not safe for the Visually Impaired athlete, guide or other athletes competing at an event. This rule is about as dumb as the rule which states that your sighted guide is not allowed to lead you out during the race...or something like that. The point is that your guide is apparently not allowed to be in front of you during the Triathlon race. About a year ago at the 2010 New York Triathlon paranational championships, I brought an issue up concerning this rule in regards to the swim. I posed my question to a member of USAT at the pre race meeting for all para Triathletes and requested this rule be changed due to the fact that I prefer to swim behind my guide during the swim. I then followed up by explaining it's safer for me, my guide and other athletes around me to swim behind my guide rather than beside him. Being totally Blind, if I am swimming beside my guide, I tend to veer left and right and often run into my guide throughout the swim even though I have a bungee tether between us. This usually results one or both of us accidently punching or kicking each other which has had painful results in the past...especially in the mid section if you know what I mean. Secondly, if I'm beside my guide, other swimmers will often swim in between my guide and I, getting caught in the tether and this too can lead to dangerous results and collisions. The advantage of swimming behind my guide is that our bungee tether acts as a straight line from my guide to me and as long as I keep the bungee in between my arms during the swim, I know exactly where he is and how far in relation to me. As soon as he turns left or right I feel the bungee on my arms and can immediately react instead of it stretching to it's capacity before I know what's going on. From what mush of an answer I was able to understand at this meeting, USAT feels a Visually Impaired or Blind athlete who's swimming behind his or her guide has the advantage of being pulled through the water during the swim. I explained however, this is certainly not the case since I and most other Visually Impaired and Blind athletes who swim with a tether are using a cord that stretches like bungee or other ellastic. Even if an athlete were to get pulled by their guide, it would be like dragging a cinder block through the water. Now as far as drafting is concerned, this is a mute point since no one ever gets penalized for drafting weather your an age grouper or Physically Challenged athlete. So the end result, even after my obvious summary of well thought out points, was that the rule stays in place and all PC athletes must swim beside their guides. So can you guess what I did for the swim during the race? Yep, I swam behind my guide and disregarded this idiotic rule as I will forever continue to do throughout my competing in the sport. Personally, I could give a crap about that rule and welcome a penalty...which I've never received in my ten years racing and don't expect to....unless ofcourse a USAT oficial gets wind of this post and specifically looks for me or any other Visually Impaired or Blind athlete from this point on. In fact, I hope I don't jinx it for us Blinkys because there have been documented times that USAT oficials have specifically called race directors and told them to disqualify any Visually Impaired and Blind athletes who don't follow the rules such as the Black Out Glasses rule.
In summary, we all know change comes but sometimes a little slower than you'd like. I know personally, the Visually Impaired and Blind community stand together in favor of a solution that makes sense, is safe and non discriminatory. Members and spokesman of our community have already presented a viable solution to this issue and are working towards that fix...we just need USAT to be receptive and stand with us in changing this rule along with the ITU (International Triathlon Union) rule as well. Only then will the number of Visually Impaired and Blind athletes competing on the National and World Championship level begin to rise again.
Dave Bigoney


Maui5150

Jun 24, 11 10:53

Post #126 of 126 (850 views)
Re: Blind Pro Triathlete filing suit against USAT [dbigoney] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Great post David. Also, best luck and continued success.

Maybe the USAT officials and rule makers would have a better understanding if they were forced to race a couple races with blackout goggles and the no-lead rules to experience the differences and understand better the safety concerns first hand. But also as you bring up, how their short-sighted nature also can have an ill effect to others racing alongside.

 
 
 
 



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