Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About Visually Impaired Classification

Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About Visually Impaired Classification

Did you know Paralympic athletes get tested on how blind they are?

I am currently sitting on a plane traveling from Hanover à the Netherlands for the weekend. I left today (Saturday) and will be back on campus on Monday afternoon just in time to start studying for my finals. I know this sounds irrational and you’re right, it is. but if I don’t go on this trip I can’t ski this season, because every Paralympic athlete needs to get something called a classification. Classifying is a way of basically ranking every disability to make varying degrees of these disabilities comparable. Classification is the reason I (someone who is legally blind but can see some things) can ski against someone who is totally blind and it can be deemed fair. Essentially I am flying to the Netherlands so that I can be reassured for the 10,000th time that yes, indeed, I am still blind and no my vision has not gotten better or worse in the last three years. However, unlike myself, many of my competitors do have degenerative vision lose. For them, classification is incredibly important because their vision gets worse over time, and therefore their classification can often change.

Visually impaired classification is broken down into three categories; B1, B2, and B3. B1 athletes are totally blind and compete wearing completely blacked out goggles. B2 skiers are slightly more sighted than B1 athletes, and B3 skiers are the most sighted of the visually impaired athletes. Each division has different factors, which basically refers to a percent of the actual time it takes the athlete to ski the race. B1 athletes who have the least amount of vision might, for example, have a factor of 0.55 for some races, meaning only 55% of that athlete’s raw time is considered. On the other hand, a B3 may have a factor of around 0.85 meaning 85% of that athlete’s time is considered. The difference in factors is what makes the times between the two athletes comparable and ideally competitive.

Visually impaired classification can get a bit controversial because, unlike some of the other disabilities, eye sight isn’t quite as straight forward. For instance, it’s pretty easy to look at an amputee and know whether he is missing his leg above or below the knee. It is a little more difficult to evaluate someone who is legally blind and determine just how much that person can actually see. Vision conditions are so diverse but in order for classification to work an arbitrary line must be drawn to categorize visual impairments. Consequently, it is impossible to make everyone happy even though the system is designed to help.

There are plenty of athletes, including myself that fall unfortunately close to that arbitrary cut off line between classes. There are a wide range of vision disorders in each category, and while being at the lower end of one may be portrayed as a disadvantage, I like to think of it as a challenge to be the best athlete I can be. Classification is something every Paralympic athlete knows well, and while it will never be perfect, it is necessary and a crucial part of Paralympic sport.

Cover Image Credit: youtube.com

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7 Lies From F*ckboys That We've All Fallen For At Least Once

They might've had you goin' for a hot second, but you know better now.

There’s no use in even frontin’; we’ve all been there. You know he’s a f*ckboy from the beginning, but you’re interested in pursuing him anyway. Ain't no thang; I fully support you.

You tell yourself you won’t fall for his games or lies because you’ve been through it all so many times before. Yet, time and time again, you find yourself slippin’ for a hot second, wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt until he inevitably disappoints you. Here are the top seven lies you’ve heard from f*ckboys that get you heated every time.

1. You’re the only girl I’m talking to/sleeping with

HAHAHA. OK, first, I don't actually care what (or who) you're doing in your spare time because you're definitely not the only guy I'm seeing either. I'm just asking so I know you're clean, OK? I don't need more stress in my life.

2. I know how to treat girls right

Isn't it super ironic how the WORST f*ckboys are the ones to toss this line?

3. I’ll text you

This statement is so unbelievable that on the off chance that they do actually text you, you basically fall out of your chair in shock.

4. I’m gonna give it to you good

I cry/cringe/die of laughter every time I hear this one because it's always the mediocre ones that throw this line. None of my most memorable hookups have ever said this because their actions clearly speak for them. Mediocre boys, TAKE NOTE.

5. Damn, I wanted to see you though

Well, you were supposed to, but then you clearly had other plans in mind. So the desire wasn’t all that intense, obviously.

6. Yeah, she and I broke up

CLASSIC LIE. CLASSIC. Sure, I believed it the first couple of times, but don’t even try that sh*t with me after I see she’s still blowin’ up your line.

7. *No response for hours after making plans* Damn, sorry I fell asleep

Honestly, how many times are you gonna throw that line when you’re literally viewable on Snap Map. BOY, I see you at someone else’s house. Stop frontin’, there’s no point.

Again, don't ask me why we put up with this sh*t because the mystery remains. I guess in our own sick, twisted ways, we crave the dramatics and thrills that come from their f*ckery. Whatever the reason, though, at least we've got some ~fun~ stories to tell.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube | I'm Shmacked

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20 Things That Will Get You Excited For The 2020 Summer Olympics

With the completion of the winter Olympics, all the crazy wins and comeback stories swirling around, I can’t help but get excited for the next Olympics in the summer of 2020.

With the closing of the ever so exciting and historic 2018 Winter Olympic, we can't help but look ahead to the 2020 Summer Olympics.

It’s really not about who gets the most medals, but more the concept that while nations may not agree on certain policies or laws, their athletes can come together and put on an amazing competition for all of us NARPs to watch! Honestly, I would love to be an Olympic athlete not only for the cool swag but also to meet so many new people in a fun and exciting new place!

Here are 20 facts to get you hype for the 2020 Olympics (even though they’re two years away):

1. It’s the third time the Olympics will be hosted in Japan and the second time in Tokyo!

2. The country’s primary school-aged children will be designing the mascot

3. The emblem represents “unity in diversity”

4. North Korea is expected to compete

5. There will be two zones that intersect to form an infinity sign, with the Athlete’s Village at the center

6. More than 11,000 athletes and 206 nations are expected to compete

7. Skateboarding will become an Olympic sport

8. The medals will be made out of recycled precious metals

9. There will be the addition of surfing, sport climbing and karate – making the total amount of sports reach 33

10. The new Olympic Stadium will be constructed on the same site as the original Olympic stadium

11. There will be 15 new events added to already existing sports such as swimming, basketball, and fencing

12. The Tonga’s shirtless flag bearer will return!

13. Team USA gymnastics is in turmoil after a sex abuse scandal

14. Many landmarks – Imperial Palace Gardens and the Fuji International Speedway – will serve as venues

15. Team USA will be back to try to top its record breaking 121 medals

16. Michael Phelps may have retired, but Katie Ledecky will be back and ready for action

17. The U.S. women’s soccer team will be back looking for redemption

18. There have been promises that this will be the most futuristic Olympics yet

19. Organizers want sports fans to come and stay to enjoy the city, therefore marketing the city as safe and easy to travel.

20. The designs for the new Olympic stadium do not show where the cauldron will be – so it remains a surprise for now

Cover Image Credit: Ben Cheung on Pexels

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