Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Brad Snyder Lost Sight in Afghanistan but Not Inspiration

Brad Snyder, who lost his sight while serving his country, conquers treacherous Alcatraz swim
ESPN 
Dan Arritt
Jill Dahle and Brad Snyder get ready for their 2.1-mile open-water swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco. The Factory Agency
One, two, three, four ...

Brad Snyder managed to block out every next thought, every painful memory, every unwritten plan, and remain focused on the revolving numbers in his head.

24, 25, 26, 27 ...

With every long, powerful stroke -- the thrusts he learned as a child growing up in Florida, polished as captain of the Naval Academy's swim team, and brought back to life while winning five gold medals at the last two Paralympics -- Snyder kept his mind concentrated on pulling his body to a shoreline he'd never see.

56, 57, 58, 59 ...

Even before losing his eyesight in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan six years ago, swimming in chilly ocean temperatures didn't come naturally to the Gulf Coast native. So Snyder stayed locked in on his numbers Sunday morning, counting each stroke as he churned through the treacherous 2.1 miles from Alcatraz Island to a sandy beach just east of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
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