LV Life Editor
Kevin Brousard brought home gold medals in both the shotput and discus events from the International Blind Sports Federation World Games last month in Antalya, Turkey.
Brousard, a junior radio broadcasting major and a member of the men’s track and field team, threw 42 feet in shotput and 139.5 feet in discus at the Games.
He threw his best personal record in discus and tied his personal best record in shotput.
“This was an amazing experience, and I’m proud of how I did,” Brousard said.
“It was my first big trip out of the country as well, and it was just a lot of fun.”
Brousard suffers from Stargardt’s Disease, which causes the deterioration of the retina in both eyes.
He wears prescription contact lenses and has a visual acuity of 20/400, making him legally blind.
Despite his blindness, Brousard can still compete in athletics, and has participated in various competitions for blind athletes.
At 17, Brousard competed in the Junior Blind Olympics, an event organized by the United States Association of Blind Athletes.
He later participated in the World Youth Games, where he won a silver medal in shotput.
After his freshman year of college, Brousard also competed in the Pan American Games for the Blind.
Once again he earned medals, winning gold medals in shotput, discus and javelin.
Brousard is a member of a powerlifting team for the blind, from which he took a year off to train and compete in shotput and discus at the IBSA World Games.
“Kevin is a delight to work with, and he’s very talented,” Team USA coach Tim Cobb said.
“He has improved significantly from when we started working together, and he deserved the gold medals he won in Turkey.”
In addition to his success in the world of blind athletics, Brousard has also done well at the NCAA Division III level with the University track and field team.
During the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships last Friday and Saturday, Brousard threw 141 feet and six inches in discus.
The mark signifies his best throw to date and also earned him eighth place overall in the conference.
“I think that Kevin’s success both with our team and the national team is an amazing accomplishment,” team member and senior athletic training major Corbin Henault said.
“This year we have put out one of our best teams and Kevin is a great contributor.”
“I have improved by three feet in shotput this year and have thrown my lifetime best distance in discus, so it’s been a good year,” Brousard said.
Brousard, who competes in a division with other partially blind athletes, hopes to one day compete in the Paralympics for shotput and discus.
“My division is basically the lowest level of blindness, and they no longer have shotput and discus events for that division at the Paralympics,” Brousard said.
“I hope they reinstate shotput and discus for Kevin’s division at the Paralympics,” Cobb said.
“He would do well. In the meantime, he needs to keep training and practicing.”
Brousard said he hopes to one day have the opportunity to train full time at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Lauren Creiman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.