This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ENCINITAS, Calif. — Amy Dixon is a world champion, a seven-time gold medalist and is legally blind.

“I was fully sighted as a child,” Dixon said. “I didn’t start losing my eyesight until I was 22 … so, I never imagined at 44 years old with a rare eye disease that I would be a blind athlete representing the United States.”

The Encinitas resident lost 98% of her vision to an autoimmune disease in her 20s. Refusing to let that slow her down, Amy started slowly exercising. 

“I had gained 75 pounds from the chemotherapy and steroids I was on to control my disease and I was really depressed and wanted to get back to exercising to some capacity but being newly blind, I didn’t know how that worked,” said Dixon. 

Amy got a membership to her local YMCA, where she relearned how to swim, ride a spin bike and jog on a treadmill. Before long, Amy found herself training upwards of nine hours a day. 

Someone through social media had said, ‘you’re swimming, biking and running. Have you ever thought about doing a triathlon?’ and I said, ‘well, that’s crazy. I’m blind. How does that even work?’”

Amy would recruit a partner to tether with during the competition — “and the rest is history,” said Dixon. 

Irisvision, a new technology that gave Amy back almost full vision, has empowered the triathlete to train for the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo. 

Learn more about Irisvision.