In 1998, the same year his brother Robin competed in the Nagano Games, Canadian Olympic cross-country skier Brian McKeever was diagnosed with Stargardt's Disease, a genetic disease that robbed him of his central vision.
"There's not a day goes by that I don't wish that I saw better," McKeever, 30, said, talking to a small group of reporters earlier this week. "And yet, it's made me who I am. It's a part of who I am and I like the person I am. If that's the case, then this can't be all bad. But I certainly wouldn't wish it on anybody else."
Alissa Johnson's favorite part of ski jumping is letting go of the start bar atop of the scary-steep, narrow tower. Jumpers reach speeds of 50 mph before liftoff. But it's not the speed she likes best. It's the commitment.
"You do so many things in life where you can stop yourself and turn around and if you're scared you don't have to go through with it," Johnson said, standing at the bottom of the Olympic ski jump on a sun-splashed Friday morning during large-hill qualifications. "But in jumping, the second you let go of that bar, there's no way to stop yourself. There's no backing out."
Both stories were clipped from today's Seattle Times.
Sight-impaired skier Brian McKeever makes Olympic history
With no Olympic women's ski jumping, sister roots for her brother