Tommy Carroll is a professional skateboarder who remained blind because of a retinal cancer at the age of two. However, he is able to compete with anyone passionate about this dangerous sport and who has no health problems. With only a regular helmet, the boy manages to skate ramps, concrete transitions, as well as other amazing tricks. He started skating at the age of 10, in the 3rd grade and chose this sport because he wanted both an “individual thing” and “something that you could do with a group.”
But how is he able to skate without getting any injuries? Tommy uses the sound made by the wheels when they approach an obstacle and in this manner he perfectly gets his bearings. “I’m always listening to the sound of my wheels, what surfaces they’re reflecting off of because that helps me determine whether I am going off course or not. Like, this ramp puts you this way and puts you at this angle. Hearing I use as a reference. I can say, okay, I have this much room to 50-50.”
Furthermore, he never forgets to wear the complete safety equipment.
He practices the professional tricks first thing in the morning, when there is no one in the skate park he goes to. Moreover, Tommy goes from one place to another to train in order to prove he is a cool skateboarder, as good as any other sportsman who is able to see, not just a good skater for a blind guy:
“I wanted to impress people. Definitely. I wanted to show that I could go big. I definitely always felt that pressure. Unless I was the best at a park, it was like, well, you’re pretty good… for a blind kid.”
Because Tommy manages to practice a dangerous sport safely, wearing the appropriate equipment, and respecting the required safety measures, he has been named the ambassador of an American project, ‘Be Brave, Be Safe’ promoting sportsmen’s safety.
In addition to this, Tommy studied journalism and international studies at Northwestern University of Evanston, Illinois, and he is also a drummer.