Tommy Carroll: blind skater
If you’re a skateboarder, or you’ve ever seen any skateboarder try any kind of trick, you’ll understand that it can be quite a hit or miss process. You can imagine the apprehension of first dropping into the bowl at the skatepark — not something for the fainthearted. Not something you’d do in the dark. Not something you’d do… if you were blind.
Except, that is, if you were Tommy Carroll. Blind since the age of two, Carroll made the surprise move of taking up skateboarding at the age of 10, and has been ripping up the skateparks of Chicago ever since. Witness his astounding bravery in full HD in this beautiful video:
Surely the world’s most talented blind skater, and better than many who can see, Tommy uses a combination of muscle memory and echolocation with the sound of his skateboard’s wheels to help him navigate the obstacles a skatepark tends to put in your way. His skills so impressed skateboarding legend Tony Hawk that last year the man himself flew in to Tommy’s home town to meet him.
Tommy Carroll is clearly able to see past his disability. Besides skateboarding, he is a keen drummer, has hosted a high school radio show (on which he interviewed Tony Hawk), and currently is studying for a double major in journalism and international studies at Northwestern University. Inspirational.
“There were people who discouraged me. They were like, ‘There’s no way. You’re going to kill yourself. Blind people can’t skateboard.’ So I just ignored them.” – Tommy Carroll
How about trying that in a wheelchair? Meet Aaron Fotheringham