Home Features Legally blind BYU-I student trains for Tokyo Paralympics

Legally blind BYU-I student trains for Tokyo Paralympics

On the track where Taylor Talbot looks like everyone else, you probably wouldn’t know she is legally blind.

Talbot is BYU-Idaho student training to compete at the Paralympics this summer in Tokyo, Japan.

Talbot is a sophomore majoring in general studies and also studying at National Academy of Sports Medicine to become a personal trainer.

Track and field is special to Talbot and her family.

Talbot’s parents met on the track team at Southern Utah University. The family has a special connection to running and jumping.

“I have done track since I could walk,” Talbot said.

At first glance, you probably would not know she is legally blind. Her loss of vision started at 3 years old.

Talbot’s condition is called Retinitis Pigmentosa. The condition causes the pigment to attack the rods and cones in the retina and worsens over time. As of now Talbot is only legally blind, but the condition can lead to complete blindness.

Being legally blind has many challenges. Talbot’s parents helped her overcome many challenges by treating her like a normal kid.

Talbot began to notice she was different when she got to high school and had to work harder to get school work done. She also had to use a red and white cane when walking.

“Not too many people are familiar with those (the canes), so it kind of stands out,” Talbot said.

Talbot said track allowed her to overcome and escape the challenges that come with being different.

“I am the same as everyone else,” Talbot said. “I am not seen as different when running on the track.”

One of the biggest reasons Talbot loves running track is because she loves seeing hard work pay off.

That hard work has led to many achievements. She recently competed in the 2019 World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Switzerland. She competed in the 100meter, 200meter and 400meter. She placed fourth in the 100 and third in the 400.

This year at the Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Talbot will be competing in the 100-meter and the 400-meter.

To follow Talbot on her journey training and competing in the Paralympics, you can follow her on YouTube channel.

Talbot beginning to turn down the first bend.
Photo Courtesy of Taylor Talbot: Talbot beginning to turn down the first bend.
two image collage of Talbot at a Track meet
Photo Courtesy of Taylor Talbot: two image collage of Talbot at a Track meet

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