A teenage gymnast sets the perfect example of defying disability. Lola Walters who is 14 year old, is suffering from Nystagmus a condition of involuntary eye movement which causes her in seeing double. But that did not stop her from doing the sport she is most passionate about.
Lola is originally from Bulgaria. Her mother Beth who was then 32 year old divorcee was casually researching in international adoption, she discovered Lola’s photo on the orphanage’s website and immediately fell in love with her and decided to adopt her.
Lola was not diagnosed with Nystagmus up until she reached the states. Her mother said her vision is very complicated, she can see but what is in front of her is constantly moving which makes it hard to focus and judge distances.
Lola started gymnastics at the age of three, she has learned to accommodate the challenges of being a legally blind gymnast. Balance beam, the four inch wide apparatus is considered to be her biggest challenge.
“It’s four inches wide – so that’s hard enough for anyone to walk on, let alone jump and flip on, so when I start to see two beams instead of just the one that’s really there I have to steady myself on my feet and really focus.” Lola told the Dailymail.
On the other apparatuses, she uses her touch to make up for her inability to tell exactly where to jump or stretch to make contact.
But Lola is prone to injuring herself more than any other gymnast. During training, she falls the most and her accidents are more serious than the other gymnasts.
Nevertheless, her passion and determination never stops her from doing the thing she loves the most. She even plans on becoming a coach.
Lola was featured on the Doctors a few days ago where she met her idol and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas. Lola said the reason she idolizes Gabby was because of how she had a really hard childhood yet managed to make it to the Olympics
Thanks to Gabby, Lola got to wear an Olympic gold medal.