Olympics

Visually impaired standing out, standing up, at surf camp in Wilmington

Posted July 17, 2015

— Olivia and Evan Wilkerson weren't always so fearless when it came to extreme sports. Hanging Ten is just a little more difficult for the brother and sister from Raleigh.

"It was really scary,” said Olivia. "Getting out there the first time, I was really nervous."

Both were born with Leber Congenital Amaurosis, which causes blindness in about 1 out of 80,000 newborns.

"And that's the one thing, as a family, that we push. We want them to do everything everybody else is doing," said Olivia and Evan’s mother, Traci.

This week, 10-year-old Olivia and 8-year-old Evan get to do just that at a visually impaired surf camp hosted by Indojax Surf Charities with the help of the Helen Keller Foundation.

"A lot of these kids never imagined doing something like this,” said instructor Jack Viore. “A lot of their parents never imagined that they could be doing something like this,".

"It's amazing,” Traci said. “They would never go out in the water with myself or my husband, and the first day, they just walk out into the ocean with a stranger on a surfboard. You're like, ‘where's the love?’"

At this camp, they don't just fit in, they stand out – and stand up.

"You can just see the confidence in them,” said Traci. “Boost and boost and boost, and it was so good."

"To see these kids catch their first wave, it is one of the most amazing experiences you can go through," Viore said.

Olivia and Evan agree.

"It's worth it!" Olivia said.

The thrill of taming the tides gives them the courage to take on the world.

"Bicycle riding to skateboarding, they try anything a lot easier since they've built this confidence up," Olivia and Evan’s father Gene said.

Just because they can’t see it, doesn’t mean they can’t conquer it.

Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • College World Series: Teams TBD

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • College World Series: Teams TBD

    Tomorrow at 7:45 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Minor League Baseball
International League
Rochester 2:35 PT3:35 MT4:35 CT5:35 ET3:35 MT5:35 ET10:35 GMT6:35 北京时间
Buffalo 
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET4:35 MT6:35 ET11:35 GMT7:35 北京时间
Syracuse 
Gwinnett 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Toledo 
Pawtucket 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Lehigh Valley 
Durham 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Indianapolis 
Columbus 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Charlotte 
Louisville 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Norfolk 
Rochester 5:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET6:05 MT8:05 ET1:05 GMT9:05 北京时间
Buffalo 
Travelers Champ (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1J. Spieth - z-12F
2D. Berger - y-12F
3tC. Hoffman-10F
3tD. Lee-10F
5tP. Reed-9F
5tP. Casey-9F
5tB. Weekley-9F
8tK. Streelman-8F
8tT. Merritt-8F
8tW. Simpson-8F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
NW Ark Champ (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1S. Ryu-18F
2tM. Jutanugarn-16F
2tA. Yang-16F
4tS. Lewis-13F
4tM. Wie-13F
6tM. Lee-12F
6tI. Park-12F
8tM. Alex-11F
8tN. Broch Larsen-11F
10tC. Choi-10F
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Monday, Jun. 26
AEGON International (ATP/WTA)
First Round
(8) D. Schwartzma1     
J. Donaldson0     
D. Young0     
K. Edmund1     
T. Bellucci 
K. Anderson 
J. Vesely 
V. Pospisil 
N. Mahut 
R. Haase 
N. Gombos 
B. Tomic 
C. Norrie 
H. Zeballos 
 
Antalya Open (ATP)
 
WTA Scoreboard
Monday, Jun. 26
AEGON International (ATP/WTA)
First Round
C. McHale0     
Y. Duan1     
N. Broady1     
K. Pliskova1     
S. Cirstea1     
K. Siniakova1     
S. Hsieh 
V. Cepede Roy 
N. Osaka 
R. Ozaki 
E. Bouchard 
B. Strycova 
J. Goerges 
C. Bellis 
S. Zhang 
V. Lepchenko 
F. Schiavone 
S. Peng 
Second Round
(3) K. Pliskova 
A. Riske 
(4) D. Cibulkova 
H. Watson 
(14) A. Pavlyuchen 
E. Mertens 
(16) D. Gavrilova 
L. Arruabarre 
(10) J. Ostapenko 
C. Suarez Nav