Partially Blind Athlete Fighting Triathlon's 'Black out Glasses' - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Partially Blind Athlete Fighting Triathlon's 'Black out Glasses' Rule

Posted: Updated:

A partially blind world class athlete from Michigan has filed a Federal lawsuit in Detroit over some new rules being imposed on visually-impaired athletes who compete in triathlons.

Aaron Scheidies has been an athlete all his life, first at Farmington High School and later at Michigan State. Now 30 years-old, he's a seven time world champion and eight time Triathlon national champion. He has competed in more than 200 triathlons, including the Iron Man competition. Last year he was a finalist for an Espee award. You'd never know he has only 20 percent of his vision.

But now Aaron is facing an even greater obstacle by new rules he says are being imposed by USA Triathlon, International Triathlon Union, and 3D Racing LLC.

Those rules will force blind and visually impaired athletes, to wear "black out" glasses while they compete. The idea is to level the playing field, so all the athletes have the same level of impairment, to make it more competitive.

Aaron says it's a dangerous idea that puts all athletes at risk. "Any one that has any vision, any light perception at all is going to use that vision for their balance. So the black out glasses are basically knocking out one-third of someone's balance system" he said.

Attorney Richard Bernstein, who himself is legally blind agrees, "it is simply illegal to require someone to become more disabled as an accommodation for them to be able to compete."

The International Triathalon Union released a statement to FOX 2 that says in part,  "...the rule exists to create a fairer competition for all athletes because partially blind athletes and completely blind athletes compete in the same category and partially blind athletes have an advantage over those who are completely blind. This rule is in place only on the run portion, not in the swim and not in the bike portions. No athlete has ever been denied the opportunity to race because of this rule. A Physically Challenged Open Division allows all athletes to participate."

Aaron says requiring black out glasses shows no understanding of the blind and is just bad judgement. On Wednesday he filed a federal lawsuit in Detroit saying he's not looking for financial damages he just wants the organizations to drop what he calls a very dangerous requirement.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Benefit for injured Grosse Pointe Police officer

    Benefit for injured Grosse Pointe Police officer

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:24 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:24:37 GMT
    48-year-old Keith Andersen retired in February from the Grosse Pointe Police Department. On June 21, he was involved in a roll over accident where he suffered a broken neck. As of now Keith has no movement in his the lower half of his body. The Fraternal Order of Police, Grosse Pointe Lodge 102 is holding a fundraiser for Keith on Aug 5th. Amy Lange will have a full report on Fox 2 News at 5:00 p.m.
    48-year-old Keith Andersen retired in February from the Grosse Pointe Police Department. On June 21, he was involved in a roll over accident where he suffered a broken neck. As of now Keith has no movement in his the lower half of his body. The Fraternal Order of Police, Grosse Pointe Lodge 102 is holding a fundraiser for Keith on Aug 5th. Amy Lange will have a full report on Fox 2 News at 5:00 p.m.
  • Teenager's body discovered in wooded area in Armada

    Teenager's body discovered in wooded area in Armada

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:37 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:37:19 GMT
    Police in Armad Township tell Fox 2's Roop Raj that the body of a 14-year-old female teen has been found in a wooded area near a recreational trail in the Macomb County village of Armada.
    Police in Armad Township tell Fox 2's Roop Raj that the body of a 14-year-old female teen has been found in a wooded area near a recreational trail in the Macomb County village of Armada.
  • Judge rules Warren Evans can stay on the ballot

    Judge rules Warren Evans can stay on the ballot

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:16 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:16:52 GMT
    A judge ruled Friday, Warren Evans will stay on the August primary ballot for Wayne County Executive.
    A judge ruled Friday, Warren Evans will stay on the August primary ballot for Wayne County Executive.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices