Aug 29 2012

From darkness to gold

From darkness to gold: Blinded Navy swimmer set to race at Paralympics. TODAY


The man who views only black today is visualizing all the colors of his London swims. In his mind, he sees the aqua-blue pool frothy with wakes, the home stretch of the lane lines painted red, and the dark, wide mouths of roaring fans.

Behind prosthetic blue eyes — replacements for the natural pair he lost after an explosion in Afghanistan nearly a year ago — Navy Lt. Brad Snyder soaks in the scenery of a dream realized. The 2012 Paralympics open today in Britain. Snyder races for gold Friday.

“During the Olympics, I read about the races, about (Michael) Phelps and (Ryan) Lochte and Missy Franklin. I heard the commentary and used that to pull out the details to produce this image,” Snyder said. “But instead of reading about Lochte, I just implanted myself in there.

“I imagine stepping onto the block, hearing “take your mark,” the sound of the start, hopping in the pool then just being smooth and strong down the middle of the lane, executing some good turns, and hitting the pad at the end. I’m imagining success. I’m imagining the good feeling that comes with competing well.”

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