Limited Sight: Limitless Dreams
A guest publication from Diversity Designs™
“Limitless Sight: Limitless Dreams” is the mantra of Kym Crosby, a parathlete for Team USA. Here, we discover her story as to how she became the elite medal winning parathlete she is today and her thoughts on the Diversity Designs™ range.
Kym was born with albinism that leaves her without pigment in her skin, hair, or eyes. She is legally blind with 20/400 vision. She competes in the T13 classification for athletes with a moderate visual impairment over 100m, 200m, and 400m. Since 2015, Kym has consistently medalled in elite parathletic events including the World Championships and Paralympic Games. Most recently, in August 2019, she won the gold medal in the 100m, T13 event, at the Parapan American Games in Lima.
Kym finds herself achieving at the highest level in parasport quite by accident. It was her brother who encouraged her to take up sport. Competing at college in track events, someone spotted her talent and drew her to the attention of the US High Performance Track and Field Director. As Kym, says, since then it’s been history.
Kym’s mantra, “Limited Sight: Limitless Dreams” embodies her identify. Kym explains, “even though I don’t have very much visual sight, I still dream big and have even accomplished several of my dreams. One evening I was lying in bed thinking about all the things I would like to accomplish in life and out of nowhere the mantra came to me”.
Several people continue to keep Kym motivated to achieve more. This includes her brother and her idol Allyson Felix. Kym says. “Allyson Felix, American Olympic sprinter, is whom I’ve always looked up to since I discovered the sport of track and field. I love her work ethic and determination and she doesn’t allow anyone else to define who she is or what she does”.
Kym also continues to follow her own heart and dreams, rather than listen to others. She recalls, “I was told by some coaches, who I respected, that I would never go faster than I already have in the 100m. 6 years later, I am still breaking my 100m personal record and the 100m has even become my best event, winning me a bronze medal at the Paralympic Games”.
Kym is a great role model for young people with disabilities who want to take up a sport or be more active. She acknowledges that trying new things can be tough, especially at a younger age. Her advice is, “never give up. Give whatever the sport or task may be a really good effort before giving up. I attempted to play several other sports before I found track and field and even then I wanted to give up on track and field. My parents told me to try competing first to see how it goes, and I did and wound up winning my first 100m race”.
Kym also has firm views on inclusion. She feels this is a concept that society needs to focus on more. In-particular, Kym says in sport, this is about, “not only making activities available but intertwining them with activities already there to spread the movement”. That’s why Kym is supporting Diversity Designs™.
Diversity Designs™ is a range of clothing and accessories that values diversity and champions inclusion in running, with a focus on disabilities. Diversity Designs™ has two collections, “Run, girl, run!” and Run, boy, run!” It’s about being able to wear or use a product with an image like you. Unlike other running apparel and merchandise, Diversity Designs™ products are be worn or used whilst you are not running to: 1) celebrate your running; 2) encourage you to run more, and 3) to open up conversations about the same. As well as supporting physical health, each product includes an affirmation that supports mental health.
A particular aim of the range is to encourage more people with disabilities to join the wonderful world of running. Joanna, the creator of Diversity Designs™ says, “I believe there is a runner in all of us! I use the #Animagelikeme and this sums up the ethos of my range perfectly”.
Joanna wants her range to contribute to achieving a society that embraces, welcomes, and celebrates all variations of the human in sport. She sees Diversity Designs™ as an opportunity to overcome social barriers that people with impairments often find so disabling. Joanna says, “my aim is to live in a society where someone with a disability is asked, “what sport do you do?” as a matter of course. This, for me, embodies the concept of inclusion”. Diversity Designs™ is already starting to raise awareness amongst the majority able-bodied population as to what people with disabilities are capable of. As it goes from strength to strength this will only continue.
Kym is pictured here in her #Animagelikeme and Diversity Designs™ Ethos T-shirts. She agrees with Joanna that seeing Diversity Designs™ products out and about in society is a great way to open up conversations about participation, inclusion, and valuing diversity. She says, “I love that Diversity Designs™ is, well, so diverse. You don’t see anything else like this. To have something as simple as a T-shirt with a picture of an image that looks just like you can be huge to a little kid, or even anyone. To know that you’re not alone in world, can change someone’s whole outlook on life in a very positive way. Diversity Designs™ also depicts these diverse people in motion, working out, which is also huge! It shows that no matter your situation, we can all come together in sport and in exercise”.
For the future, Diversity Designs™ plans to create products with inspiring and empowering images for other parasports. Kym’s next goal is the World Para Athletics Championships 2019 in November. Here, we are sure she will go on to achieve more of her limitless dreams and bring home more medals and titles for Team USA.
To keep up to date with Kym’s sporting achievements on social media follow/like:
and with Diversity Designs:
Diversity Designs™ products are available to buy from the Busy-Life.co.uk website or Joanna’s stores on Teemill and Zazzle: