Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 6th 2015 Contents B1
Loosing your ability to see must be one of the toughest
challenges to overcome. Just imagine losing your sight in
your early thirties like Carlos Greene.
Born and raised in Waterloo, Carapichaima, central Trinidad,
where he resides with his family, 46-year-old Greene became
blind in 2000, within the space of four months, due to acute
glaucoma. Losing his sight and his subsequent determination
to overcome his disability has led to Greene, a Humming Bird
Silver Medal awardee, becoming a top paralympic athlete over
the years. Greene recently represented us at the Toronto
Parapan Games where he missed medaling by a narrow margin
(ten centimetres) in the shot put event since an injury prevented
him from competing in his pet event---powerlifting, for which
he has become well known on the world circuit.
When Greene became blind over 14 years ago, he found an
emotional outlet through exercise (the gym in particular). It
quickly became a form of therapy for him. He said that when
he exercises, he is on a natural "high". His instructors at the
gym encouraged him to enter a competition and he has never
looked back since. His wife of 21 years and his three daughters
are a tremendous source of inspiration to him. He is adamant
about showing his children and others that a disability is no
excuse to not strive to be the best. He also believes that his
discipline, his training, and his eventual success will be a
source of inspiration for all.
Over the past nine years, he has competed and medalled
at several regional and international competitions. At the
majority of these competitions Carlos was the only blind com-
petitor. Among the many places he has competed are
Guatemala, New Zealand, Aruba, Florida, Delhi, Guyana,
Puerto Rico, Cayman Islands, London and most recently, at
the Parapan Games in Toronto.
Some of his gold medal performances: 2008 at the IBSA
International Blind Sports Association/IPF World Powerlifting
Championships, Miami, Florida, where he broke 11 world
records to become the first powerlifter to win a gold medal
for T&T in a World Championship Event; 2009, the IBSA
International Blind Sports Association/IPF 2009 World Pow-
erlifting Championships, Miami, Florida, breaking seven world
records; 2011, North American Powerlifting Federation/Inter-
national Powerlifting Federation (NAPF/IPF) Championships,
Miami, Florida; 2013, 11th Annual North American Powerlifting
Federation/International Powerlifting Federation (NAPF/IPF)
In 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012, he was nominated for the
"Sportsman of the Year" Award. Thus far, he is the Caribbean s
only blind professional powerlifter.
In July 2012, Greene participated in the American track and
field paralympic trial, where he won a Silver Medal in the shot
put and Bronze Medal in the discus event.
He is currently in training for the 2016 Paralympics Games,
which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Q: Tell us a bit more about yourself. For example,
where did you grow up, your schooling, meeting
your wife, your children/family?
A: Carlos Greene was born in a little sugar cane and
fishing village called Waterloo. I have five brothers
and two sisters. I spent my first few years with
my grandparents. I have always been involved in sport from
a young age, and I have always been involved in community
I went to Waterloo Presbyterian School and represented
the school in football, cricket, volleyball and running. Then
I went to Chaguanas Junior Secondary and continued to
represent in football, cricket, running and table tennis. I
graduated from Junior Secondary and I received an award
for physical education. Then I went to Carapichaima
Senior Comprehensive, where I represented in football,
badminton and running, and eventually captained the
football team. I then spent two years at the Presto Presto
Youth Camp where I studied tailoring and represented the
camp in running and table tennis.
I met my wife in October 1989, and we got married in
August 1993. We have three beautiful children, Rebekah,
Reanna and Renee. Reanna was just successful in her SEA
exam and she passed for her first choice, Bishop Anstey High
School, Port-of-Spain. I am so proud of her.
As a blind person, what are some of the challenges you
face both in your daily life and in your sport?
As a blind person, especially living in T&T, it is hard because
the physical infrastructure (eg sidewalks, no building codes)
is not designed for us. Vendors in the street block walkways,
sidewalk DJs make it impossible to hear when you walk the
street, disrespect by the heads of the same sporting associations
that we represent. I have appealed to the authorities and even
spoken to those sidewalk DJs. I keep pushing and not accepting
the limits that are placed on me. I do see some little glimpses
of hope that can make a better future.
When and how did you come to be involved in the sport
After joining the gym in January 2003, I remembered a
young instructor by the name of Justin Joseph telling me, "Do
you know how strong you are? I have seen men in here for
years and have never see them move weights like you. You
should compete in an upcoming powerlifting championship."
WITH NASSER KHAN
...blind, courageous, gifted, determined
• Continues on Page B2
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