Kevin Alderton – An Inspiration To All
At the age of thirty-four years Kevin “Cannonball” Alderton made a skiing record recently at Les Arcs in France when he set a speed of 100.94 mph going downhill. What makes this event even more incredible is the fact that he completed this feat with only 4% vision setting a new record for a blind person.
Alderton’s lack of vision was due to an incident that occurred while he was walking down a street in London. He happened to come across a young woman being attacked physically by two men. He tried to help her and in doing so became a local gang’s new target, which left him with his eyes gouged out by the end of the attack. After the incident Alderton had to deal with the fact that he now had a disability something he would have to adjust to after having had such a full and active life so far.
Alderton was born in 1971 in Dartford where he grew up as a youngster having a great love for a variety of sports. Included in this love was snow skiing, a sport he began participating in at the age of eight years. Later at the age of sixteen he qualified as a dry slope instructor after having a two-week course. Before Kevin Alderton took up his love for skiing more seriously he was a soldier for the British army.
While Kevin Alderton was serving in the British Army he had an opportunity to become certified as a Ski Instructor for the Military. This led to him taking part in skiing events with both his unit as well as with alpine race teams. At first he thought that being blind would stop him from ever participating in this sport again, but with a little encouragement from a friend and with the help received from St Dunstan’s charity for blinded ex-servicemen, he was able to give skiing a go again.
One might wonder how it is that a blind man can do any type of snow skiing activity without the use of his eyes to guide him in the right direction as he heads down the ski slope. Alderton uses radio speakers that are placed in his ski helmet to help guide him down the slopes. His success has led to him being chosen to represent Great Britain in the 2008 World Championships and again in Canada for the 2010 Paralympics.