Blind Athlete: Might as Well Jump

By Bettina Dolinsek and Randy Landgrebe

Video Article

Bettina Dolinsek was born blind, but she never asked to be treated differently. That same attitude carries over into her CrossFit training, and she doesn’t shy away from movements—even box jumps.

“Growing up blind, you weren’t expected to do much,” she explains. “It honestly makes me angry. That’s not how I want to be treated. I want to be expected to do what everybody else is expected to do.”

So Dolinsek started CrossFit and recently attended the Level 1 Seminar at NorCal CrossFit in San Jose, Calif.

“The only modification that’s been made is in demonstrating how to do it,” she says. “So showing me exactly what the move looks like, instead of doing it visually, I do it tactilely.”

All told, Dolinsek has lost 50 lb. And she can jump on a 30-inch box.

But her coach and co-worker, Randy Landgrebe, said there’s been a transformation in more than just her physical appearance.

“She’s changed,” he says. “I can see that she takes great pride in it. Depression? No. Whatever depression was there is gone. I don’t see that at all.”

Finding CrossFit, Dolinsek, says, has been one of the “most amazing things that has ever happened to me.”

“As long as you show up and you’re willing to work hard, anybody can do it.”

Video by Adam Cline and Tyson Oldroyd.

5min 53sec

HD file size: 109 MB
SD mov file size: 41 MB

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Additional reading: Truly Special Populations by Josh MacDonald, published Aug. 15, 2010.

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2 Comments on “Blind Athlete: Might as Well Jump”


wrote …

I LOVE this article and the tenacity that Bettina displays in her CrossFit journey! The only thing I would change about this piece is the title. She isn't a "blind athlete." She's an athlete... that happens to be blind! Thank you for publishing this article and video on the transformative powers of CrossFit!!


wrote …

Great article! Very motivational. One of the main reasons I love CrossFit: as Bettina said, it´s for everyone who is willing to show up and work hard! Well done, Bettina, you´re an inspiration for all!

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