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.