Ryan Van Praet is a 6 time Ironman triathlon finsiher (3.8k swim, 180k bike, 42k run) and highly determined visually impaired athlete.
Born in 1979 in Chatham Ontario, Ryan was given the greatest gift of his life by his parents; the chance to grow up and experience life in the same manner as every other child around. Why is this such a wonderful thing? Well, when he was 4 years old Ryan was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, an incurable, degenerative eye disease that will eventually rob Ryan of the remainder of the 8% vision he still has left.
Despite a constant decrease in his vision as he grew up, Ryan was determined to play, explore, and act like any other child, as he felt there was no excuse that should hold him back. Time and decreased vision gradually took away the things Ryan enjoyed doing, but undetered he found a love and a modest talent in the sport of running and eventually Triathlon.
Ryan has found his determined, stubborn, methotical, passionate and appreciative approach to life has translated well into helping him become a Nationally ranked Paratriathlete and an inspiration to others about the power of the human resolve.
Even though his fading vision is hindering his opportunities in some aspects of life, he is very grateful and excited to share his current role as a motivational speaker and a triathlon/running coach.
“Whatever the situation you are faced with, simply assess it, adapt to it the best you can, then you move forward; through life and in sport” –Ryan Van Praet