If seen from a distance, 19-year-old Ryusei Ouchi skates just like any other typical boarder. The way he effortlessly navigates through bumps and edges of ramp gives the first impression of an ordinary skater who loves what he does and is good at it.
But what makes this Japanese boarder unique and extraordinary is that he does not have the ability to see at all. Instead, he uses a white cane to skate through intricately complex pathways of a skateboarding arena.
Ouchi became a sort of internet sensation when videos of him skateboarding with a white cane went viral and earned him global recognition.
Everything aside, Ouchi is a boarder at heart. He loves skateboarding and this is why he did not quit the sport when he was diagnosed with retinal pigmentary degeneration at the age of 15. He did not let his disability come in the way of his passion.
Recalling the struggle he had to undertake in order to adjust his sensory and motor skills to cope with the skating requirements in absence of vision, Ouchi credits his love for the sport and the support of his family and friends that enabled him to skate through the tough training period.
Skating has been approved to be a part of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and Ouchi hopes that the popular sport is also included in the Paralympics so that he may be able to compete in the coveted contest someday.
But for now, he is content with his routine skateboarding practice and the inspiration that he brings to his social media followers.