The Canadian Paralympic Committee dubbed Victoria Nolan “The Metronome” for her ability to row perfectly in synch with her teammates. As a world-class athlete, grade-school teacher, wife and mother of two, Nolan (BSc 1996 UTSC; MA 1999 OISE) may just as well be called “The Juggler.”
Nolan started adaptive rowing (rowing for people with disabilities) six years ago at the age of 31 – a decision, she says, she made as her vision deteriorated due to a degenerative eye disease that has left her with just three per cent of her sight. She was competing at the national level within a year. She has won bronze, silver and gold medals at the World Rowing Championships and was keen to “hunt down gold” at the Paralympic Games in London earlier this month. Nolan, like all visually impaired rowers, wears opaque black goggles to ensure the playing field is level for athletes with varying degrees of vision.