24-Year-Old Blind College Student Wins Gold At Grappling Tournament

Source: Alliance Jiu-Jitsu. Used with permission

Michelle Jorgensen, 24, has no excuses.

Born with a rare eye disease called Persistent Fetal Vaculature (PFV), Michelle is almost completely blind. Still, she is not only a full-time psychology student, but she trains BJJ and Muay Thai.

In fact, on April 7, Michelle won the gold medal at the Super Cup Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships. According to her instructor, Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Kelowna owner Sean McHugh, Michelle won three “hard-fought matches” in “dominant fashion.”

Did we also mention this was her first tournament? Because it was her first tournament!

According to McHugh, Michelle began training jiu-jitsu 12 months ago after attending a women’s only self-defense seminar.

“Michelle is a work horse and deserves to be recognized for the hard work she puts in,” McHugh wrote in a document he sent to the Jiu-Jitsu Times. “She’s a full-time student, volunteers at a variety of charities and still attends more practises consistently per week than anyone else. Michelle with her outgoing personality brings big energy to the club and is already planning on competing in June in Richmond.”

McHugh wrote that Michelle can see well enough to get the techniques, but he will often help her with the details.



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