Around the Nation

Blind Ambition: Woman Set for Iditarod Sled Race

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Legally blind Rachael Scdoris with her sled team.

Legally blind Rachael Scdoris has twice been named one of the nation's 100 Most Outstanding Female Athletes. Standard Insurance hide caption

toggle caption Standard Insurance

Rachael Scdoris will begin a snow-bound trek Saturday, one of more than six dozen mushers in the grueling Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

While the course — some 1,100 miles over rough terrain in bitter cold — is difficult enough, the 20-year-old Scdoris faces another challenge: She is legally blind.

Track Scdoris in the Race

The Achromatopsia Network

Scdoris suffers from congenital achromatopsia, a genetic disorder that affects the eye's ability to take in images. Her father, Jerry, is a champion musher who in 2003 founded the Atta Boy 300 Oregon World Cup "Race for Vision," which promotes research in ophthalmology.

The Iditarod race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, will not be the first sled dog race for Scdoris, of Bend, Ore. At 15, she entered Wyoming’s IPSSSDR competition, the largest sled dog race not held in Alaska, and became the youngest person to have completed the nearly 500-mile race.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from