A blind swimmer with a vision… many people do not understand this. Trischa Zorn, born without both irises (a disease called Aniridia), has always been a persistent and persevering person. From her childhood she dreamed of being famous. This inspired her to accomplish every-day tasks which other blind people could only dream of. She is now well-known as the most decorated Olympian and Paralympian. Blinded by the light
On the June 1, 1964 in Orange, California a beautiful baby was born to Mike & Donna Zorn (nee Osborne) when first handed to her proud and loving mother many of the nurses, doctors and other hospital staff had their fingers crossed. This baby had been born without irises making her look very different to most babies, Trischa Zorn was smart from the very start, she reacted to her name by the time she was 3 months. Being born without irises meant her eyes didn’t adjust to light to protect the retina like they should, thus allowing the bright light to penetrate and blind her completely by the time she was 11, Trischa later described it as being like walking out of a dark movie theatre into bright sunlight, her eyes unlike most other people’s didn’t close at all as they couldn’t tell whether it was light or dark. She played on the Nebraska ‘Mini Huskers’ team until she was eleven when she was totally blind and they took her off the team for safety reasons. Yet still she had no desire to let her disability hold her back. Being the eleventh child in a family of 13 girls compelled her to keep ahead and not be beaten by her siblings. When playing games, they would often offer her a handicap to help her achieve but she never, ever took it. “Why can’t I play by your rules?” Trischa would often ask, “I might not be good but I can improve, they say to learn from your mistakes.” Before long, Trischa could play any games within their yard with her eyes closed. This amazed many people that didn’t know she was blind. She did well academically and physically. Her sisters understandably got very jealous and often teased her by setting traps. She generally found them and was only caught very few times. “Once in high school, I would have been probably 15 or 16, One of my peers said I was irrational as I was blind, stupid, senseless, an absolute washout and had no hope whatsoever so why was I dreaming of fame?” School life
“All my life I dreamed of being renowned, when all others my age had long-since parted with ambitions of fame I still hadn’t given up! One day I’ll stand before my flag as a proud symbol of what America can do.” Trischa never stopped dreaming and many a time this got her through the constant bullying that was, as she said, handed out like free chips to anyone with the slightest restriction. In year 9 she was called a loser by a teacher who was feared and detested by nearly every student. This gave her an extra spark of determination and she decided to prove her teacher totally wrong. From that day on Trischa never missed one lecture, inspirational speech or class, in year 11 & 12 she avoided every excursion and fun day (excluding the sports day) in order to use her full potential. Trischa acquired what would now be equal to an ATAR score of 99.74. She achieved the highest overall marks and should have been awarded dux but at the time the school employed a headmaster who was totally prejudiced and believed being blind meant Trisha shouldn’t get the award. She was never awarded anything for her accomplishments in her final year, and she hates that headmaster to this day. “When I saw him down the street the other day in Orange, California, I gave him a glare fit to shrink an elephant.” Trischa told one of her old peers.
Step 1 – Implant.
“I finished school on Friday and by Monday reality had hit.” Trischa realized over the weekend that if she wanted to be famous she had to do something to BE famous. There were many setbacks for her, not having irises meant she couldn’t see colours (when she...
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