Dancing on Ice star Libby Clegg has been strutting her stuff on the ice, leaving judges and audience members alike impressed, so it's safe to say that the Paralympian certainly won’t be letting her deteriorating eyesight stop her. The 29-year-old, who is registered blind, has Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy disease, a condition that has left the athlete with only slight peripheral vision in her left eye.
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Libby, who won silver at the 2008 Summer Paralympics and gold in Rio at the 2016 Paralympic Games, described her eyesight as being "like looking at a pixelated computer screen or a scrunched-up firework" when speaking to The Daily Mail.
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Libby and partner Mark in training
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So when it comes to training in the rink, Libby has to pull out all the stops. Speaking to the Radio Times, the doting mum explained that the entire process has been a learning curve, and that she and partner Mark Hanretty use touch and verbal communication to make sure that Libby really nails the routines.
She explained: "On the track I run with a guide runner and we’re attached all the time, but basically it’s like learning a different vocabulary to communicate. Myself and my partner Mark Hanretty use touch and verbal communication. I’m not as bad as I thought I was going to be, but it’s not as easy as it looks. It’s a lot harder than I thought it’d be, it’s very technical."
As for Mark, he too has spoken of the extra difficulty involved, adding that he's trying to improve his "descriptive vocabulary."
Libby hopes that her experience on Dancing on Ice will inspire others with disabilities to push themselves. She added: "I’d love for people with disabilities, or just in general, to come out of their comfort zone. You set yourself a little goal and just do it."
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