Albert J Rizzi
albert at myblindspot.org
Sun Feb 21 21:38:12 UTC 2010
I did a google search and found this article amongst others.
Bucks County Courier Times
Kyle Mieczkowski doesn't let his disability interfere with his ability on
The 122-pound eighth-grade wrestler, modest in stature but massive in heart,
controls his opponent like he could do it in his sleep.
It's dark in Kyle Mieczkowski's world, but wrestling flipped the switch and
gave him a bright new outlook.
He's dominant in this match for Robert K. Shafer Middle School in Bensalem.
His hands, arms and legs are a blur of decisive action. His body acts like a
fast-closing vise, sustaining leverage, twisting and turning in an array of
technical moves, keeping the other guy a move behind below him on the mat.
When the match started, Shafer head coach Don Woodling guided Kyle by hand
to the center of the mat. Otherwise, you wouldn't have known he's blind. You
would have seen only desire, strength, aggressiveness and quickness.
If you knew about his disability, you would be struck by his seemingly
sixth-sense feel for his opponent and amazed by his rapid-fire recall and
execution of the right move at the right time.
"He senses his next move as soon as he feels the way the guy lands," said
assistant coach Ryan Thayer. "Like we sense with our eyes, he senses with
Kyle won the match against his Richboro foe, 16-0. Teammates backslapped him
and the Shafer section shouted his name. In his first year of competitive
wrestling, he finished 6-2, with four pins.
"If you didn't know he was blind, you wouldn't even be able to tell," Thayer
"He's very tactile. He can feel it," says Shafer athletic director Steven
Lafferty. "It's amazing."
"He's a great kid. I couldn't say enough," says Kyle's father, Keith
Mieczkowski Sr. "It's amazing. He's got a good heart. A lot of stuff's
instilled in him. My hat's off to him.
"If I think I'm having a bad day," Keith said, "I just look at him."
To call Kyle an inspiration to fellow students and even adults is an
understatement. But when asked, the 15-year-old modestly shrugs and says the
message is, "Do your best and don't just think because you're blind you
can't do it."
To watch Kyle wrestle is to see an uncommon determination, a persistent
drive toward achievement. In the challenging context of his disability,
wrestling seems to give him a comforting feeling of normalcy - of being able
to do things that other kids can do.
That mindset began developing in childhood, because - from the beginning -
life has never been normal for him.
As an infant, Kyle had a lung disease. The treatment required high doses of
steroids and oxygen until he was about 6, his dad said. Within a year of
being taken off the steroids and oxygen, Kyle went blind. There's never been
a clear reason why, he and his dad said.
"One day it was all blurry," Kyle said, "and then (my vision) went down,
The youngster saw specialists and had surgeries, but nothing worked. Both
retinas remain detached and Kyle remains blind.
"I just learned to adapt to it," Kyle said, "and not let it hold me back
from doing things I wanted to do."
"Thank God he was young and he adapted to learn, the Braille and all of
that," Keith said. "You go through something like that, it hits you, but you
know, they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
Albert J. Rizzi, M.Ed.
My Blind Spot, Inc.
90 Broad Street - 18th Fl.
New York, New York 10004
"The person who says it cannot be done, shouldn't interrupt the one who is
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From: blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Becky Mondor
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2010 3:34 PM
To: blindkid at nfbnet.org
Subject: [blindkid] Wrestling
My son Noah is 10 and would like to join the local youth wrestling
league. I know that this is a very popular sport for many blind youth
because the two wrestling remain in contact with eachother throughout
the match. However, this is where my knowledge begins and ends! I
was wondering if anyone else has experience with this that could give
me some helpful tips for his coach? I am excited he wants to do
this, it will be great exercise and a chance for him to be a part of
a team sport. I just want to make it as successful as possible!
Becky in Indiana
Sent from my iPod
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