NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Lack of sight is not holding back Markeith Price.
The 2012 Tennessee State University graduate, who is visually impaired, is one of 66 athletes chosen for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
At the team trials in Charlotte, North Carolina, July 5, Price flashed across the finish line ahead of the field in the 100-meter. He came second in the 400-meter. He will represent the United States in both competitions, in the T-13 classification for the visually impaired.
A Baltimore native, Price will join 39 other men and 26 women who will represent Team USA in track and field.
“I am extremely honored and blessed for this opportunity,” said Price, who will be making his second straight appearance in the Paralympic Games for the United States. “I have dedicated the last four years to training to run the best race to bring home the gold for the U.S.”
Price was a member of the TSU Tigers men’s track team and the 2012 London Paralympic Games where he finished 6th in the long jump and 8th in the 400-meter dash.
His former coach at TSU said she was not surprise that Price was selected, citing his work ethics and determination to always be the best.
“Markeith was an excellent athlete who worked very hard and didn’t give us any trouble,” said Chandra Cheeseborough-Guide, director of Track and Field and a former Olympian, who coached Price in his junior and senior years. “I am excited for him and to know that we have someone from TSU in the Rio games.”
Diagnosed with Optic Nerve Atrophy at age 3, Price has lived with visual impairment his entire life. The condition is caused by damage of the optic nerve.
“When I was younger, I never really knew how to describe it,” Price said. “As I got older and heard other people describe their vision, I was able to get a better understanding.”
Price recently moved back to Hagerstown, Maryland, where he started a non-profit organization called I C You Foundation, Inc., which raises money for scholarships and programs for the visually impaired. In the last three years, the foundation has given more than $20,000 to organizations such as the Maryland School for the Blind, the Tennessee School for the Blind, and the United States Association for Blind Athletes.
“It’s something that my parents taught me and it’s something that I strongly believe in, and that is giving back to the community,” Price said. “I specifically give back to the visually impaired community because I know that group of people and I know their struggle.”