Imagen
38895-Joel Gomez photo

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
T13, F13

Further personal information

Languages
English, Spanish

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up athletics with the Speed to Burn Track Club in California, United States of America at age nine. He began Para athletics at age 14.
Why this sport?
"I started running when soccer became too difficult for my vision. Many people commented on my speed and endurance when I played soccer so my parents suggested that I try track and field. I found this sport to be a great fit for me because I can see the contrast between the lanes of the track as I run. Track has also put me into a position where teamwork is necessary in workouts, and I have formed a group of great friends that I will have for a lifetime. I was never one to sit and play video games, especially because I couldn't see them. I don't like to do nothing, I'm more comfortable doing something."
Training Regime
He runs 90 kilometres a week in training.

International debut

Year
2019
Competing for
United States
Tournament
Parapan American Games
Location
Lima, PER

General interest

Hobbies
Flying drones, cinematography, playing music, singing, video blogging. (teamusa.org, 04 Aug 2019; Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver in the T13 1500m at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019; lima2019.pe, 27 Aug 2019)
Most influential person in career
Coach Joaquim Cruz. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Hero / Idol
Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge, US athlete Matthew Centrowitz, Brazilian athlete and coach Joaquim Cruz. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
He always wears white socks. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"No limits." (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Awards and honours
He was named the 2019 Male Junior Para Athlete of the Year by USA Track & Field. (timesofsandiego.com, 28 Feb 2020)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and to compete as an able-bodied athlete at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. (timesofsandiego.com, 11 Dec 2018; Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Impairment
He was born with blue cone monochromacy, a genetic eye condition that causes low vision, colour blindness and photophobia. "Many people have experienced what it is like to walk out of a dark theatre into the bright daylight. That day blindness is how my eyes are affected in even moderately bright light. I can't distinguish red from black, orange from green and blue from pink." (timesofsandiego.com, 11 Dec 2018; thecoastnews.com, 29 May 2018; Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Other information
AMBASSADOR
He is an ambassador for the San Diego-based Vision of Children [VOC] Foundation in California, United States of America. "My mission in life is to inspire others, so that they too can overcome their challenges. What seemed like science fiction not long ago is now becoming reality in finding a cure for these diseases. I perform and help to support many of their fundraising events to raise funds to help find a cure for genetically caused blindness. VOC is like family to me, so it is fun to participate with them at various charity events." (timesofsandiego.com, 11 Dec 2018; thecoastnews.com, 29 May 2018; Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)

MUSICIAN
He plays the ukulele, violin, piano, guitar and writes his own songs. He has a YouTube channel where he releases his music. He also teaches ukulele at a public library. "Music. It feels just right to me. I just love it so much. It's something that since I can't play sports with a ball or anything like that, it's kind of the other thing that I do. When I grow up I want to be a touring musician and I want to be a recording musician and if that doesn't work out then music will still always be in my life." (timesofsandiego.com, 11 Dec 2018; visionofchildren.org, 11 May 2016; teamusa.org, 31 Dec 2019)