Along with the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, Tokyo is also set to host the 2020 Paralympic Games this summer, and competing in the Paralympic Games will be Irwin native Calahan Young, the United States Association of Blind Athletes announced on Monday.
Young, who has retinitis pigmentosa, which impacts his peripheral vision and causes both night and color blindness, is one of six members set to represent the United States’ men’s goalball team. Prior to picking up goalball in middle school, Young competed in numerous other sports such as football, baseball and basketball.
Goalball itself was constructed specifically for athletes like Young who suffer from visual impairment. The ball is equipped with a bell that the players must use to judge positioning and where they should move on the court. Players must throw or roll the ball into the opponent’s net in order to score. Defensively, players lie down when the ball is headed at their net in hopes to block it. This makes Young’s 6-foot-5 frame quite useful for Team USA.
At the 2016 Paralympic Games, the United States was the only country to have both its men’s and women’s teams medal, with both set to compete in Tokyo as well. The men’s team just defeated defending champion Lithuania in the Trakai Tournament in May.
Previously, Young represented his country at the 2018 World Championships and the 2019 Parapan American Games. For the team’s journey to Tokyo, Young will be accompanied by teammates Zach Buhler, John Kusku, Tyler Merren, Matt Simpson and Daryl Walker. The roster was revealed at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on June 9. All members of the team, aside from Young and Buhler, competed for the 2016 Paralympic team that took home silver.
Young and the United States begin play on Aug. 25.