Many of us have ups and downs throughout our lives, and it can be down to the people around us to help us get back on our feet. That was the case for one blind swimmer as she only rediscovered her love for the sport thanks to her guide dog.
Losing Her Sight
Anastasia Pagonis lives in New York and was just 14 years old when she lost her eyesight. The trouble lasted two months, and at the end, she was left without her sight. Anastasia quickly fell into a whirlpool of depression and anxiety as she struggled to come to terms with her new life.
A New Passion
It turns out that Anastasia had started swimming just six months before she lost her sight. The teen knew how happy she felt in the water, but she was anxious about getting back in. Anastasia decided that she had to do something to get herself out of the rut.
That’s when Anastasia got a call about Radar. The guide dog had been training with a professional hockey team, so he knew everything he needed to be a guide dog for Anastasia. Now, it was just time for the pair to meet.
An Instant Connection
Anastasia and Radar trained for 10 days, several hours at a time. In this time, they learned everything about one another and instantly fell in love. Now, Anastasia says that she has her independence back and has found her “match made in heaven.” The best bit? Her swimming has come so far that Anastasia has won several titles, including two golds at the World Para Swimming World Series.
A blind swimmer and her guide dog have taken the sporting world by storm. Life once seemed as though there was nowhere to go for Anastasia, but meeting Radar has given her a brand new lease of life.
Most people know that a large part of the world ocean remains unexplored. Even after decades of scanning and probing the depths of Earth’s largest habitat, all the remotely operated vehicles, submarines, and scientists have seen just a small fraction of what is really down there. To Katy Croff Bell, exploring the uncharted waters of the world ocean is a great opportunity for people of color and women, in general, to engage in science. According to her, increasing the diversity of people in this field can only lead to good things.
Marine Explorer Katy Croff Bell Advocates More Diversity In Her Field
Katy Croff Bell is a marine explorer and an expert on the deep sea, which is the parts that are below two hundred meters. Bell has been involved in more than forty archaeological and oceanographic expeditions since 1999. When she began, the diversity of people in her field was not great, with just a few women actively participating.
According to Bell, if people are to actually explore the ocean in its entirety, they would need to involve new technology and new communities of people. To that end, she has built a diverse coalition of deep-sea students and explorers and has also developed many ways that would make the field more accessible to women and people of color.
Recently, Bell and Her Colleagues Have Made Significant Discoveries In Their Field
In recent years, new robotic and telepresence technologies have allowed Bell and her colleagues to make major discoveries. In 2019, the students monitoring the deep-sea were the first to notice and document cow sharks in the waters of the Galapagos Islands. By deploying sea depth cameras and live streaming every expedition, Bell ensures that the thousands of people around the globe who want to explore the ocean can do so with her. This also allows people from different backgrounds to get to know the deep-sea exploration field and possibly enter it in the future, increasing the diversity of those participating in different research groups.