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Athlete Highlight

Goalball Gametime with John Kusku

John Kusku was a member of the silver-medal-winning U.S. Men's Goalball Team at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and is headed to Tokyo to represent Team USA once again. By day, he is a high school math and physics teacher with a background in music. Find out more about John in this Q&A: Q: How did you initially get involved in goalball? A: I have a degenerative hereditary eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa (RP). It causes me to have tunnel vision and night blindness. I was diagnosed with a vision problem at around six months old, and with RP at…  Read More

Goalball Gametime with Tyler Merren

Tyler Merren is the most experienced member of the U.S. Men's Goalball team competing in Tokyo. These Games will mark his fourth Paralympics and he has two medals in his collection...a bronze from 2004 and a silver from 2016. Tyler and his teammates will be gunning for that elusive gold medal in Tokyo. Find out more about this Western Michigan grad in this Q&A: Q: How were you exposed to goalball? A: My first game of goalball was in May of 1999 at a Michigan Sports Education Camp at Western Michigan University put on by Dr. Paul and Sue Ponchillia.…  Read More

Goalball Gametime with Marybai Huking

Former figure skater Marybai Huking is headed to her second straight Paralympic Games for goalball. This 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist was adopted from China at a young age and enjoys creating artwork and spending time outdoors. Find out more about this Paralympian from Salt Lake City in this Q&A: Q: How did you initially get involved in goalball? A: I was introduced to the sport in sixth grade. I actually wasn't very drawn to the game itself but was excited to meet so many role models in the older girls with visual impairments that I got to play with. I…  Read More

Goalball Gametime with Eliana Mason

2016 Paralympic bronze medalist Eliana Mason is headed to her second straight Paralympic Games in Tokyo this August. Find out more about this Paralympian from Beaverton, Oregon, in this Q&A: Q: Talk about how it feels to be playing alongside some of your teammates from who you learned the game as a youngster. A: I have been playing goalball for 10 years. Throughout this time I have had amazing teammates as role models to help me become the athlete I am today. I am really looking forward to the opportunity of competing alongside my fellow teammates who helped shape my…  Read More

Goalball Gametime with Mindy Cook

Mindy Cook is headed to her first Paralympic Games in Tokyo this summer. This pumpkin spice-loving Ohio State football fan balances a full-time job with her world-class goalball training. Find out more about this first-time Paralympian from the Buckeye State in this Q&A: Q: How were you exposed to goalball? A: In 2016, my good friend Jim Debus and I were co-workers. He was very persistent that I attend a practice with the Columbus team. After participating in a few practices I was hooked. Jim encouraged me to attend my first tournament in Michigan as a pool player in 2017. It was…  Read More

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