Dog Helps Blind Teen Compete and Earn Gold Medals in Swimming

A Paralympian, Anastasia Pagonis, lost her vision at the age of 14, where she was at the period of a transition between childhood to young adult. It took her eight months to realize and think of what to do now that she is blind. This life-changing disability made it even more challenging for her to pursue her dreams.

Before going totally blind, she was into competitive freestyle swimming, and while excelling at this sport, she was led to quit due to a vicious atmosphere. It was a big blow for her to give up this sport she loved; however, this relentless teen is ready to go back to swim and compete after months of therapy. It took her another several month to find a coach that is willing to train her. When she reached sixteen, she was already earning a reputation as a vicious competitor and took two gold medals for World Para Swimming World Series in Australia.

The New York Islander’s Puppies With Purpose Program concurrence with the non-profit Guide Dog Foundation. They teamed her up with Radar, a lovable retriever. Both Pagonis and Radar started training at home due to pandemic until they are ready to enter the world of competition together. Thanks to Radar for giving back her independence and allowed her to take place At Colorado’s Olympic Paralympic Training Center.

She took a big leap of faith and followed her dreams. She realized then that her positive experiences and outlook might be a big help to others. She then started doing Instagram and social media and was able to get a collective of positive replies and messages. And this made a difference and an inspiration to others.

Let’s give more support to this high spirited teen.