Paralympian Victoria Nolan tells her story as a blind, medal-winning rower

TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Victoria Nolan, a former Paralympic rower on Team Canada, launched her first book, an autobiography titled Beyond Vision, on Thursday, February 27, 2014.

Nolan was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease that causes slow, progressive loss of vision at the age of 18. Though her diagnosis devastated her, it also provided a lot of insight:  it explained why she always felt a little uncomfortable in crowds, why she didn't like speaking in front of people and why she struggled with anything athletic. After years of frustration, she decided to make a change, regain her independence and chase her goals.

Having never rowed before, Nolan loved it the moment she tried it. What started out as a hobby quickly turned into a passion - one that she was really good at. In 2007, Nolan was named to the Canadian National Adaptive Rowing Team and began travelling the world, winning medals and breaking records and within a year was competing at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

"Writing this book has been really therapeutic for me. It's been a means of venting my frustrations with the way I've found blind and partially sighted people are sometimes treated," says Nolan. "Some of the things I've been through were really emotional and sometimes traumatic. Writing about those times allowed me to sort through what happened and move on from it."

Today Nolan is a retired Paralympian, special education teacher, motivational speaker and an advocate for people with disabilities. In 2010, she and her rowing crew won gold at the World Rowing Championships in New Zealand and competed in the 2009 World Rowing Championships in Poland. She and her husband live in Toronto with two children.

Beyond Vision - The Story of a Blind Rower is available for purchase through Iguana Books in ePub, Kindle and print formats and in print at Shop CNIB. Accessible formats are also available through the CNIB Library. A longtime CNIB client, Nolan recorded the audiobook version of Beyond Vision at the CNIB recording studio in Toronto, Ont.

Image with caption: "Book cover, Beyond Vision: The Story of a Blind Rower by Victoria Nolan (CNW Group/CNIB)". Image available at:

Audio with caption: "Audio: Victoria Nolan, author of Beyond Vision, reads an excerpt from Chapter 5 of her new book.". Audio available at:

Audio with caption: "Audio: Victoria Nolan, author of Beyond Vision, reads an excerpt from Chapter 13 of her new book". Audio available at:


For further information:

Sara Lennox
Specialist, Corporate Communications
T: 416-486-2500 ext 7157

Greg Ioannou
Iguana Books
T: 416-214-0760

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