Wrestler blind since age 2: 'I really like winning'
EUGENE, Ore. - Avery Ingram has been wrestling for only four years.
"I really like winning first of all," he said. "I really like when someone thinks they're going to beat me and I just roll through and then beat them."
Ingram looks like any other prep grappler, but he is completely blind.
Wrestling works well for him as a sport.
"It seemed more like a martial art than any other sport, and it's also one of the only sports that I can do," he said.
As a 2 year old, doctors discovered a tumor on Avery's pituitary gland. The tumor pressed against his optice nerve, causing his blindness.
"It was hard," said Brandon Ingram, Avery's dad. "That right there changed my life big time."
But Avery's visual impairment hasn't stopped avery from wrestling. He didn't win a single match as a freshman but came back season after season.
"I figured some day I might get better, and it was still fun," he said of why he stuck with it. "In practice I'd win every once in a while."
On Friday, he'll wrestle at the district meet in the 145 pound weight class.
Avery hasn't done it alone. His younger brother Tyler also wrestles and is there to assist him.
"It's unique, and most people don't get to have that experience," Tyler Ingram said. "I feel like it gives me a different point of view in life and wrestling. I can really understand more things that I don't think other people really see."
And Avery's dad is his biggest fan.
"He doesn't let anything get in his way," Brandon Avery said. "I'm completely proud of him. I'm blessed through the roof that he's my kid. I wouldn't trade him for anything."
One of the blessing's for Brandon has been one of personal growth as he's watched his son overcome adversity.
"I was a little judgmental when I was younger," he said. "I had issues. I see life so different now. I see the good in everybody, the best I can, and it's all due to him."