11-year-old blind girl, 'I want to be the first visually-impaired gymnast'

 Photo: The Kenebrew Family via TODAY.com

Declared legally blind when she was three, Adrianna Kenebrew has taken up gymnasitcs.

Apart from needing the aid of some audio cues, 11-year-old Adrianna is the same as any other child on the gymnastic floor.

"The gym is one of the only places where there are no real accommodations for her. Everything is the same. She gets on the same balance beam as everybody else," her mother, Asha Kenebrew, told TODAY.

Adrianna and her coach holding up her "Female Athlete of the Year" award.
Adrianna and her coach holding up her "Female Athlete of the Year" award. Photo: The Kenebrew Family via TODAY.com

"I don't know, but I think that may be why she loves the sport," she said.

Adrianna was born with glaucoma, meaning she is extremely near sighted and her peripheral vision is almost non-existent.

At four months old, she was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma, which meant numerous surgeries for Adrianna.

"Honestly, I've lost count on how many actual surgeries she's had," Asha said.

Despite the surgeries, Adrianna's vision in her right eye is 20/400 with her glasses, Kimberly Yen her paediatric ophthalmologist told TODAY.

"Her left eye is somewhat better, 20/150 with glasses, which still wouldn't allow her to pass a driver's test," TODAY reported. 


Unfortunately, Adrianna's condition can't be reversed.

"She's not going to ever become 20/20, said Yen.

"What we want to do is prevent any additional vision loss."

Adrianna, who is now is grade six, was named Female Athlete of the Year for her region. She has been taking gymnastic classes for three years and isn't about to let her disability get in the way.

"I just always wanted to flip and swing," she said.

When asked if she is bothered by their looks she replied, "No. I like who I am." 

If anything, it just makes her work harder, she said.

"I want to be the first visually-impaired gymnast to win gold at the Olympics."