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Spring 2019

Winter 2008 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

By Todd Hveem, Chronicle Correspondent,
Reprinted with permission from the Houston Chronicle, 2-12-07

Key words: blind, athlete, judo, wrestling, paralympics, rod-cone dystrophy

Abstract: A girl losing her vision from Rod-Cone Dystrophy works hard to make adjustments in her life. By participating in swimming, wrestling and judo, she uses and develops her athletic abilities. She competes regionally and nationally, and hopes to qualify for the Paralympic Games in 2008.

Jordan Mouton was like most little girls. She loved to play with friends. She loved to cuddle with her mother. And she was simply fascinated by life.

But one day, Mouton's outlook on life changed completely. Not emotionally, but physically. Jordan Mouton was losing her vision. And she was only 8-years-old.

It has been getting slowly getting worse ever since, said Mouton, who is a senior at Cypress Falls High School. It has been tough to adjust to. It is manageable, but it is hard.

It has really been a test. But I still have my faith. I think you have to, or you wouldn't be able to deal with it.

Mouton was diagnosed with Rod-Cone Dystrophy. The disease, which is extremely rare, has caused her to lose her center vision and not be able to tell colors. But it has not caused her to lose her zest for life.

It is true that your other senses become better, said Mouton, who carries a 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. My hearing is really good and my sense of smell is the best.

Mouton also has picked up a couple other fascinating traits, too. She recently qualified for the regional wrestling tournament after winning the district title at 128 points. She entered the regional meet with a sparkling record of 25-5.

I was told I would have a pretty good chance to go to state, said Mouton, who missed the regional meet after finishing third in district at 110 pounds as a junior. That would be quite a thrill. The top four advance.

She also loves judo and swimming. She is a member of the United States Association for Blind Athletes.

Judo is my main sport, Mouton said. I am on the judo team that will go to Brazil. If I do well there, I will qualify for the Para-Olympics in 2008 in Beijing. I went to France last year for Judo. It was a lot of fun.

How did she get into martial arts, wrestling and swimming? My brother started wrestling when he was real little, she said. I always wanted to do it, too. My dad didn't want me to, but then he let me after I joined judo.

Hunter Mouton, who attends Blinn College, also suffers from Rod Cone Dystrophy. His disease started when he was 6. At 19, he is completely blind.

I don't know if he takes comfort from me, but I definitely look up to him, Jordan said of her brother. I figure if he can do it, I can do it.

Nobody knows why this happened. My parents are both fine. But we don't sit and complain. We just do the best we can.

After high school, Jordan plans to go to Texas A&M and major in psychology. I really like to listen to people and help try and figure them out, Jordan said. I definitely like to try and help people.

Jordan said she must stay focused at all times in school. I have to try harder at things, she said. I have to read Braille, so it takes me 10 times longer to do my school work. But it definitely makes me stay focused. I think that helps my judo and wrestling.

Her favorite wrestling hold is to put an opponent's arms behind their neck and push their arms across their face. I use that one a lot, Mouton said.

Mouton plans to be on the judo team and live in the dorms at Texas A&M. She really doesn't want any special treatment. Sometimes, my friends even forget I have this disease, Mouton said. That is the way I like it.

About United States Association for Blind Athletes (USABA): A member organization of the U.S. Olympic Committee, USABA is a non-profit organization that provides training for blind and visually impaired athletes for competition in nine sports. USABA members range from blind children developing sports skills to elite athletes who train for competitions such as the Paralympic Games, the world's second largest athletic competition that draws more than 4,000 disabled athletes. For more information visit .

Last Revision: June 5, 2008