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Rio-Bound: Eliana Mason – Women’s Goalball

Posted August 24, 2016  Athlete Highlight | Goalball | National Goalball Teams

Editor’s Note: Before the Paralympic Games open on September 7, we’ll be introducing you to the U.S. Paralympic athletes who will be competing in visual impairment categories in Rio de Janeiro through a series entitled “Rio-Bound”. Follow along on our website and social media with #riobound. Though the torch was extinguished at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony on Sunday, August 21, we’re counting down the days until it is re-lit for the Paralympic Games! A full schedule of events can be found at You can tune into NBC and NBCSN (broadcast schedule here) or stream Games coverage live online at or

Eliana Mason
Sport: Goalball
Classification: B2
Height: 5’6”
Birthdate: September 1, 1995.
Hometown: Beaverton, Ore.
High School: International School of Beaverton High School (Beaverton, Ore.)
College: Portland State University, Psychology with a minor in Public Health
Motto: “I can and I will.”

Career Highlights
2015 Parapan American Games – silver
2015 Malmö Lady Intercup – gold
2014 IBSA World Goalball Championships – gold

Born with cataracts, Eliana’s lenses were removed but doctors were unable to replace them. Eliana also lives with Glaucoma. Despite her visual impairment, she’s risen to the top of a sport she was only introduced to in 2009. Eliana learned of goalball at a sports camp at the Washington State School for the Blind when she was 14-years-old. A few months later, she learned about practices happening in Portland. She went to a practice and met U.S. Women’s Goalball National Team player Jen Armbruster who told her about practices at Portland State University. A few months later, Eliana started attending practices with Jen Armbruster and Asya Miller and the rest is history! We caught up with Eliana after a training camp this summer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to find out what she’s looking forward to at Rio 2016 and how she’s preparing for her first Paralympic experience.

USABA: This is your first Paralympic Games experience! How are you feeling?
EM: I feel very honored to be a part of Team USA and to participate in this incredible experience. I am excited to compete and to experience the Paralympic Games. Competing in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games has been my goal for the past four years, and I feel ready and prepared for the challenge!

USABA: What are you most looking forward to about the Brazilian culture?
EM: I am excited to experience the different food Brazilian culture has to offer.

USABA: What are you most looking forward to in Rio?
EM: Aside from representing Team USA and competing, I am looking forward to the full Paralympic experience – opening and closing ceremonies, exploring the Athlete Village, meeting athletes from around the world and watching the other events that are taking place.

USABA: How are you preparing for September?
EM: Our Women’s Goalball team went to Spain for our last international tournament before Rio. We also had two training camps following the tournament in Spain. Aside from that, I am in the gym conditioning 5 to 6 days a week, and working on goalball specifically 3 to 4 days with other teammates.

USABA: What is a typical day of training like for you?
EM: Typically, my day of training starts off early with a 6:30am goalball-specific workout. I work on throwing, hitting specific shots, blocking and maintaining good form. Later in the day, I will do a weight workout – exercises will depend on what my program is for the day. I also include cardio of some kind – either sprint intervals, or steady state endurance.

USABA: Who do you thank for helping you get to this point in your athletic career?
EM: I thank my supportive family, but specifically, my parents. Not only do they help me get to practice and tournaments, whether that be with transportation or financially, they have always pushed me to work harder and have believed in my dream to make the Paralympic team. Weekly, my dad would work with me on throwing. My parents watch me play every chance they get and support the team by providing transportation and helping out at practice. I wouldn’t be the person or the athlete I am today without the love and support of my parents and their unwavering belief in my ability to accomplish anything I put my mind to.

Eliana takes the court with the U.S. Women’s Goalball Team on September 8 against host country Brazil. The full tournament schedule is available here. Follow Team USA’s success on social media and on

Connect with Eliana:
Facebook: USA Women’s Goalball
Twitter: @USAWGoalball
Instagram: @elianaamarieee