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She is blind but she is a professional skier and not afraid to dance either


Washington, Sept 26: She has been known to be one of the most fearless women the USA has known. A blind professional skier who has bagged as many as three bronze medals in the Paralympics, 46-year-old Danelle Umstead is also competing on "Dancing With the Stars", an American dance competition television series, this season.

That the woman never falls short of meeting the challenge was evident when she impressed the audience at the season's premiere on Monday, September 24, along with her dancing partner Artem Chigvintsev, a Russian-American professional dancer. Danelle is also the 14-year-old show's first-ever blind candidate.

She is blind but she is a professional skier and is not afraid to dance either

"Because I can't see, I touch Artem's shoulders or his legs to feel the movement and paint myself a picture," TODAY quoted Danelle as saying.

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Danelle has a genetic eye condition known as retinitis pigmentosa and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis eight years ago. But the challenge meant nothing for the woman who bowled over judge Carrie Ann Inaba and other spectators with her performance with Artem.

"What you did was spectacular. The way you moved through uncertainty and the trust - I think we can all feel the bond between you and Artem, which was so magical. You moved as one body," Carrie was heard saying.

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Danelle also expressed her confidence saying she is familiar with charging down mountain trails at as high as 70 miles an hour and that without seeing anything. It's no wonder that she will find dancing a lot easier.

Danelle's husband Rob is her sighted guide in competitions, TODAY said.

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