Wednesday, May 15, 2019
HER ETERNAL GLORY
“JUST A FEW YEARS AGO, I’D NEVER EVEN SEEN A STAR. NOW, WHEN I LOOK UP IN THE SKY, I CAN SEE SOME OF THE BIGGER STARS. IT’S AMAZING.”
This is what you’ll probably say when you get your vision back. This was quoted by an American Paralympic Swimmer Trischa Zorn Hudson after her sight was improved. Meet Trischa Zorn, born without irises and was hence blind by birth. She was born on June 1, 1964 in Orange, California.
Trischa began swimming at the age of 10 at the Mission Viejo Nadadores swim club in Southern California. and just six years later made her Paralympic debut at the Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games in the Netherlands. She won seven gold medals in her debut Paralympic games and set three world records. Thereafter, she went on further to create numerous records and today she is regarded as the most successful and decorated Paralympians ever. The American competed at seven Paralympic Games between 1980 and 2004 and won an incredible 55 medals (41 gold, nine silver and five bronze). She competed in Paralympic swimming (S12, SB12 and SM12 disability categories). She was inducted into the Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2012.
Her contributions were not just restricted to the pool , She wanted to educate and motivate the disabled people in the United States. She wanted that all of them should find the purpose of their life and work accordingly and strive for excellence. She is seen as a guiding source of light for the blind in the United States. She has taught for ten years since 2001 in Indianapolis Public schools as an Elementary Education Major (Special Education). She developed an Inclusionary Model to help students integrate with regular classroom experience and advance the opportunities and experiences of children with special needs.
In a popular interview to the Los Angeles Times in 1995 , Trischa Zorn said, “I thought with what I have overcome with my disability that if I could just reach these children in the inner city … that I could be a good role model for them and that would satisfy me.” In 1993, she was named female athlete of the year by the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes, and in 1994 was named one of the nation’s top 10 female athletes of the year by the USOC. Eighteen years later, in 2012, she was inducted as the first American woman into the Visa Paralympic Hall of Fame. She even has a national award by her name. The United States awards the annual Trischa L. Zorn award to the swimmer with disability who has achieved national or international excellence. She ended her career on a winning note in 2004 Paralympic games held at Athens, Greece.
She is the first congenital disabled person in the United States to undergo an artificial iris implantation. Her vision improved significantly after the surgery and saw the world for the first time. With her vision being accelerated continuously, she went on to become a lawyer and completed her Juris Doctor degree from the Indiana Law University in 2005. When asked about her charity work she says that she always wanted to affect people’s life positively and that was her passion. She also served as the USABA on Board of Directors from 2005 to 2016 and currently is working as an attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Fiduciary Unit.
Trischa Zorn can be seen as one of the most successful blind person in the recent times. She has shown us that with a strong will one can achieve what once seemed impossible. She can be seen as a shining star, a star unaware of its eternal glory which is a source of inspiration for us.
- Shreyas J Kadam.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
“Like stars across the sky, we were born to shine”
A quote that has a deep meaningful content and the one who can grasp its insights, can surely be successful. The quote has immense motivating power within itself and the one who has quoted it has lived upto its glory – Andrea Bocelli.
Andrea Bocelli is an Italian singer, songwriter and a record producer. He is one of the world’s most successful blind person and has achieved innumerable laurels to his name. He was born to Alessandro and Edi Bocelli on September 22,1958 in a village near Tuscany, Pisa, Italy. Doctors had advised his parents to abort the child as they predicted that the child would be born with certain disabilities. But the couple decided to give birth to the child against the doctor’s advice and Andrea was born, little they knew that this decision taken by them would gift Italy with a beautiful voice. Andre Bocelli on numerous occasions has said that the decision taken by his mother to give him birth has inspired him throughout his life.
Andrea was not born disable but had certain problems with his sight. He lost his vision completely at the age of twelve in a soccer accident. He was goal-keeping and was hit hard on his eye and suffered brain haemorrhage and was subsequently diagnosed with congenital glaucoma and lost his vision. According to his mother, music was the only thing that would comfort him. He showed great passion for music from his primitive years. He started piano lessons at 6 and later learned to play the flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, and drums. By 7, he could recognise voices of famous artists and he would also try to mimic their voices. He won his first singing competition at the age of 14. Andrea says, “I was born to sing.” He completed his secondary education in 1980 and attended University of Pisa later. For a living, he used to perform evenings in piano bars.
Andrea Bocelli has received many awards for his notable work. He has been awarded the highest ranking order of the Italian Republic and Dominion Republic, OMRI and OMDSM respectively. The singers who have worked with him say that his voice is unparalleled and as smooth as any voice can get. In 1998, Bocelli was named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People.
Celine Dion has said that "if God would have a singing voice, he must sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli" and David Foster, a record producer, often describes Bocelli's voice as the most beautiful in the world
Andrea was passionate about his singing career and he took efforts right from his tender age. If he would have sat at his place, crying for not having vision as others, today Italy wouldn’t have had such a singer. Stories of great men always inspire us, no matter they hail from which country. It’s very important for us to identify our talent and start working on it. For Andrea, it was singing. For you, it might be reading, writing, teaching, dancing, playing any sport or whatsoever. The foremost thing is identification of self. You certainly know yourself more than anyone in this world and it’s in your hands to be the best version of yourself. Be like Andrea Bocelli.
- Shreyas J Kadam