“When someone describes a beautiful scene to me I can translate that into a sense of beauty. What I like is that somebody took the time to describe what’s moved them, and I feel a great connection to that person then…Just because you lose your sight, doesn’t mean you lose your vision” – Blind climber Erik Weihenmayer
On May 25, 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind man in history to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak. And on September 5, 2002, when he stood on top of Mt. Kosciusko in Australia, Weihenmayer completed his 7-year quest to climb the Seven Summits – the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, joining only 150 mountaineers ever to do so, all of them sighted.
Shortly after losing his sight at the age of twelve, Erik lost his mother in a tragic car accident. In an effort to strengthen the family during this difficult time, Erik’s father, an ex-Marine, took his three teenage sons on climbing trips to the far reaches of the globe including South America, India and Nepal. While awkward at first, Erik persevered and has emerged today as one of the most exciting and respected athletes in the world. In addition to climbing, Erik is also an acrobatic skydiver, long distance cyclist, snow skier, para-glider and marathon runner
Erik’s extraordinary accomplishments have gained him abundant press coverage including repeated visits to NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News, Oprah, Good Morning America, and the Tonight Show. He has also been featured on the cover of Time magazine and in Sports Illustrated, People, and Men’s Journal.
Erik has won a wide variety of prestigious awards and has been responsible for raising millions of dollars for blind organizations and other worthy causes in the United States and around the world. In a recent poll, Erik was named as one of the 20 most inspirational people in America.