Not "just a blind girl:" Taylor Talbot's journey to Tokyo Paralympics 2020
Taylor Talbot began losing her sight at 2 years old and was legally blind by 8. Now 20 years old, she has lost all sight in her right eye and only has about 5% tunnel vision in her left. Yet her sight has hardly altered her passions in life nor her determination as a competitive athlete.
Taylor Talbot is a sister, daughter, multi-instrument musician and equestrian. She is also a near-blind track and field runner headed to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympics.
“That’s what the Paralympics is all about. You see all these amazing athletes and they’re struggling with all these challenges that they’re overcoming through their sport," Talbot said. "It’s pretty incredible."
Her journey from her home in Ontario to Tokyo wasn’t smooth. After traveling to Minneapolis, Minn., on June 17 for qualifications, she found out five days later that she made Team USA.
“I was the very last name announced. My mom called me saying, ‘You made it! You made it!’ They sent out a press release, put it all over social media – it was everywhere,” Talbot said in an interview. “I can’t tell you how it felt to have that dream come true.”
But the next day, an official with the International Paralympics Committee called Talbot to explain the committee had made a miscalculation, and she was 0.01 percent below the standard needed to qualify. A different Paralympian got her spot on the team.
“The next morning, I got up and ran two miles because there was no way I was going to stop training,” she said.
And it was a good thing she didn’t because she received another call a week later saying she could, in fact, join the team due to how close the scores were. Her training continued.