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THE TRACK — David Brown is a two-time Paralympian and the world record holder for his division in the 100-meter dash. He's also totally blind.
In order to win gold medals and break records, Brown competes with his sighted guide Jerome Avery. Seeing them in action together is stunning.
Shortly after his first birthday, Brown was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, according to a report from Runner's World. His sight diminished over the years, leaving him blind at age 13. His journey to Paralympic glory began when he won an essay contest back in 2008. The prize was a trip to the Paralympic Games in Beijing, which allowed him to interact with amazing athletes and learn more about the tight-knit community of champions.
Now, Brown and Avery are an unstoppable team. Bound by a 6-inch tether, they look more like a single runner than two distinct athletes.
"To watch them run is to witness athletic poetry in motion, a sort of three-legged race where the difference of fractions of a second determines podium outcomes," the Runner's World report says. "It's a fusion of the agonizing precision of sprinting with the deep trust and intuition of athletes on a team being able to complement each other in moments of high stress. Like many things, the only way to really get good at it is to do it over and over again. And, of course, Brown cannot see the entire time."
The Summer Paralympic Games begin in Tokyo next month. Brown, whose personal motto is "Running4HISGlory+," will be there with Avery to see if they can defend their world title. It will be fascinating to see what they're able to accomplish.