The Eyes Free Sports Podcast
The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 14 - A Visit with Disability Consultant & Blind Sports Broadcaster Bryce Weiler

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 14 - A Visit with Disability Consultant & Blind Sports Broadcaster Bryce Weiler

June 27, 2020

In Episode 14 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, we visit with Bryce Weiler, an ardent disability advocate, sports commentator, and all-around talented young man. Wiler talked about:

  • His visual impairment
  • How he was mainstreamed in public schools before enrolling in the Indiana School for the Blind where he graduated from high school in 2010
  • His college experience attending the University of Evansville and Western Illinois University
  • How he got into sports broadcasting in college doing color commentary for radio broadcasts of University of Evansville athletic events
  • How he has worked with various play-by-play announcers and has adapted to their styles to be an effective color commentator
  • How he prepares for a game broadcast and how many hours are involved in this process
  • How and why he co-founded The Beautiful Lives Project
  • Types of unique sporting events his nonprofit has put on for kids and adults with disabilities
  • His work to make stadiums and arenas more accessible to fans with disabilities
  • His role as the disability consultant for the Baltimore Orioles and how he got the team to wear Braille jerseys during a regular season game in 2018

 

Learn more about The Beautiful Lives Project at http://www.beautifullives.org. Follow Weiler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bryceweiler.

Check out a sample of his color commentary of a University of Evansville soccer match at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2hlMPoWHnY

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 13 - Scoring a Goal with Ohio Blind Soccer

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 13 - Scoring a Goal with Ohio Blind Soccer

June 13, 2020

In Episode 13 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, Katie Atkinson and Noah Beckman of Ohio Blind Soccer join the conversation to talk about:

  • Their backgrounds and how each got involved in blind sports
  • Atkinson’s educational and professional background in working with blind individuals
  • Beckman’s childhood and sports he played growing up being visually impaired
  • Why Atkinson started Ohio Blind Soccer and her role as a coach
  • Beckman’s introduction to blind soccer and what he enjoys most about playing this adapted sport
  • The rules of blind soccer, a.k.a. five-aside soccer or blind football
  • The benefits of playing blind soccer and other sports for blind and visually impaired individuals

Learn more about Ohio Blind Soccer at https://ohioblindsoccer.weebly.com/. Follow Ohio Blind Soccer on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ohioblindsoccer and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/blindohio.

Check out some of Katie Atkinson’s blind soccer training videos on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFvZ-GuHU1A2vdzTCy2xkmw?view_as=subscriber

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 12 - Taking a Swing at Beep Baseball with Steve Guerra

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 12 - Taking a Swing at Beep Baseball with Steve Guerra

May 30, 2020

In this episode of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, Stephen Guerra of the National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) joined the conversation to discuss:

  • His visual impairment
  • His childhood and early years
  • His college years attending and graduating from Hofstra University
  • His career working in assistive technology and running his own business
  • How he was first introduced to blind sports, including goal ball and beep baseball
  • How he got involved in the National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA)
  • The history of beep baseball and the movers and shakers within the NBBA
  • The international reach of beep baseball and specifically how the Austin Blackhawks have led this effort
  • What blind baseball is and how this sport differs from beep baseball
  • What it would take to get beep baseball into the Paralympic Games

Learn more about the National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) at www.nbba.org.

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 11 - Talking MMA with Michelle Jorgensen (Part 2)

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 11 - Talking MMA with Michelle Jorgensen (Part 2)

May 16, 2020

In Episode 11 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, hear Part 2 of our interview with Michelle Jorgensen, a blind MMA and judo competitor who has won 15 medals. Jorgensen discussed:
 

  • What it was like competing in the 2020 IBSA Pan American Championships in judo in Montreal back in January
  • Who she faced in the competition and the dramatic three-round match she had with this competitor from Uruguay
  • The calm attitude she had before the competition and how it helped her
  • The ultimate outcome of the competition
  • The unique dynamics of an international competition with so many languages and cultures coming together in one place
  • How blind and visually impaired athletes are classified in the Paralympics
  • The accepting and welcoming nature of the MMA and judo communities
  • Advice for blind and visually impaired individuals on what first step they can take to get involved in MMA or judo

In case you missed it, listen to Episode 10 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast to hear Part 1 of our interview with Michelle Jorgensen. You can follow her on Instagram at @embracedchaos93.

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 10 - Talking MMA with Michelle Jorgensen (Part 1)

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 10 - Talking MMA with Michelle Jorgensen (Part 1)

May 9, 2020

In Episode 10 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, we feature Part 1 of Greg Lindberg’s interview with mixed martial arts competitor Michelle Jorgensen. She discussed:

  • Her eye condition
  • The challenges of finding sports to play as a visually impaired child
  • Her introduction to mixed martial arts (MMA) in 2017 after taking a self-defense class
  • How she got into judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai kickboxing
  • Unique strategies she uses as a blind MMA competitor
  • How she started working with Kathy Hubble, a highly accomplished Canadian National Judo champion and coach

 

Listen to Episode 11 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast to hear Part 2 of our interview with Michelle Jorgensen. You can follow her on Instagram at @embracedchaos93.

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast - Ep. 9: Taking a Spin with the Blind Stokers Club

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast - Ep. 9: Taking a Spin with the Blind Stokers Club

April 26, 2020

In Episode 9 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, Dave White and Jaime Gonzalez of the Blind Stokers Club talk with host Greg Lindberg about:

- How the club started from a small event in 2005

- The roles of the sighted captain and blind stoker when riding together on a tandem bike

- The social benefits and enjoyment of tandem cycling

- The club’s annual Cycling For Sight event

- Other events the club has hosted

- Some unique virtual rides the club has done in the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

- How interested riders can connect with a potential tandem partner, whether you are sighted or visually impaired, around the U.S.

Learn more about the Blind Stokers Club in San Diego, CA at www.blindstokersclub.org.

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 8 - Pam McGonigle, a Paralympic Gold Medalist in Track & Field

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 8 - Pam McGonigle, a Paralympic Gold Medalist in Track & Field

April 14, 2020

In Episode 8 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, Greg Lindberg talks to Pam McGonigle, a Paralympic gold medalist and currently the director of development at the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). She discusses:

  • - Her family and guide dog, Maida, who actually runs with her and was trained through the Running Guides Program at Guiding Eyes for the Blind
  • Her role with USABA
  • Competing in four Paralympic Games in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 and winning medals in track and field
  • A variety of sports for the blind and visually impaired
  • Specific events and opportunities offered by USABA

Learn more about the United States Association of Blind Athletes at www.usaba.org.

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 7 - A Chat with Leslie Spoone on Personal Fitness for the Blind

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 7 - A Chat with Leslie Spoone on Personal Fitness for the Blind

March 30, 2020

In Episode 7 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor Leslie Spoone joined the conversation to talk about:

  • Simple physical exercises blind and visually impaired individuals can do from home during the Coronavirus pandemic or at any other time
  • How to do chair yoga
  • Using a white cane to perform certain individual exercises or exercises with other individuals
  • Strategies to make inaccessible exercise equipment more accessible to blind and visually impaired users
  • The fact that more blind and visually impaired individuals are very active than many stereo types portray

Leslie welcomes questions and comments at lesliespoone@cfl.rr.com. As mentioned during the podcast episode, she will also be holding some free Zoom conference calls on chair yoga through the American Council of the Blind. More details on these calls can be found here.

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 6 - A Conversation on Goal Ball

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 6 - A Conversation on Goal Ball

March 8, 2020

In Episode 6 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, Greg Lindberg talks to Denzell Ferges, a goal ball player from Maryland. They discuss how he became visually impaired as a child, how he got into goal ball, the rules of the game, how the sport of goal ball has changed his life for the better, and his goals within the sport.

 

Learn more about the blind sport of goal ball on the USABA website here. Check out the USA Goal Ball Facebook group for an active community of goal ball enthusiasts.

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 5 - A Chat with Blind MLB Broadcaster Enrique Oliu

The Eyes Free Sports Podcast: Ep. 5 - A Chat with Blind MLB Broadcaster Enrique Oliu

February 23, 2020

In Episode 5 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, Greg Lindberg chats with Enrique Oliu, the longtime color commentator for the Tampa Bay Rays’ Spanish radio broadcasts. Oliu, who is totally blind, discusses:
- Why he immigrated from Nicaragua to Costa Rica and then to Florida
- How he lost his eyesight
- His experience attending the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
- How he initially got into broadcasting
- How he joined the Rays’ Spanish broadcast team in their inaugural season of 1998
- How he prepares for each game broadcast
- The Rays’ 2008 run to the World Series
- How he actually does his job as a blind broadcaster