Jordan Mouton has not stopped fighting.
Soccer was the Houston native's first love, but Mouton had to give up the sport at age 12 when she began to lose her sight as a result of a disease called rod-cone dystrophy. While attending a sports camp for blind children Mouton discovered judo, an activity that is suitable for many blind athletes because of its full-contact nature.
Mouton did not simply take to the sport, rather she took off. By 2007, when she was just 18, she placed fifth in the 57kg class at the International Blind Sports Association Championships. One year later she gained 25 pounds and moved up to the 70kg class to represent the United States at the 2008 Paralymics in Beijing.
"Judo gave me something to push for and work hard for," Mouton told TakePart. "It showed me that I don't have limitations just because I can't see anymore."
Mouton has certainly overcome her fair share of adversity coming up in the judo ranks, and her advice to younger disabled athletes would be to ignore the naysayers.
"I used to be able to see and I lost my sight, and I still figured out how to get it done," Mouton said. "And there are going to be a lot of people along the way telling you can’t, but you’ve got to prove it to them that you can because it is possible."
TakePart TV is following Mouton as she prepares for the 2012 Paralympics in London, which kick off on August 29.