As the World Championships are getting closer the excitement is setting in and sometimes it can be a bit surreal. Our dojang had a fundraiser friendship tournament on the weekend and we had the honour of a motivational speech from Kevin Frost.
Who is Kevin Frost? See www.deafblindspeedskater.com for more on Mr. Frost.
“Canadian speed skater Kevin Frost has Olympic ambitions and there are only two things in his way — Usher Syndrome and the International Paralympic Committee’s failure to recognize deaf-blind speed skating as a sport.
Usher Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive hearing and vision loss. In Kevin’s case, he has tunnel vision (only 8% of normal visual range) and a sound has to register about 90 decibels for him to hear it. But being deaf-blind is not stopping him. ”
According to Mr. Frost…
Last year at the International Canadian Open Championship in Quebec City he won a Bronze Medal and then in Lake Placid he won a gold medal. He was ranked 6th in Canada in 2007 against able bodied skaters, 3rd in Canada in 2010 long track speed skating. He is also competing in the World Indoor Rowing Championships in Boston in a few weeks
I loved his dog Nemo. It was amazing how his personality changed when he was wearing his ‘working harness’ . When Mr. Frost removed it, he was instantly like a young puppy with a wagging tail.
He shared some of his preparation tips before large competitions and the types of things he has to overcome. I was glad to hear that I also prepare myself in the same ways that he does. One big difference is that when we both listen to our music to warm up…he doesn’t hear the music but he FEELS the beat. When I think I have some challenges I will think of Mr. Frost as a motivator. If he can succeed with so many challenges, then I can too! No excuses. As athletes we can’t take our bodies for granted. We all got to try on a pair of dark glasses with two tiny pin hole openings. The glasses showed us what Mr. Frost could actually see all the time. Not very much! When your vision is so incredibly reduced and your hearing is so impaired all your body senses and balance are thrown for a loop but he has had the courage and strength to over come them. It was actually bind boggling.
There was a definite silence in the room as he spoke. I’m sure he sensed it. I think everyone was just in awe of his accomplishments and his perseverance that no one knew what to say.
Unfortunately I had to judge the whole day at the tournament so I didn’t get much of a chance to really talk to him privately. I would love the opportunity to talk to him one-on-one since he is an incredible person and I admire his attitude. I want to surround myself with people who are making their dreams come true. My Coach gave me the movie ‘The Secret’ to watch which is all about the ‘Law of Attraction’. I think it’s working 🙂
This was the perfect way to kick off our tournament. For many coloured belts it was their first tournament so it was a great day! Thank you Mike Murphy for arranging this opportunity.