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Real Vision

Leading up to this story, I have enjoyed watching the perplexed look on people’s faces after sharing my latest subject matter with them. Most recently, I nonchalantly told my doctor, while he was busy writing down notes, that I was writing a story about a blind surfer. He continued writing for a few seconds before dropping his pen, looking up quizzically, and asked, “Wait. What? He surfs blind? How is that even possible?” Ah, yes. The question that everyone who hears about Derek Rabelo eventually ends up asking. Consider how difficult a feat this is. The playing field for a surfer is constantly changing as it shifts along the different bottom contours of the ocean. Three-time World Champion Tom Curren mused about what it must be like. He says he could possibly imagine a blind person surfing who had surfed before losing his or her sight. “But,” he admitted, “to Read More

The Art of Letting Go

Look past the call-girl cards that litter the street like confetti at Times Square on New Years, or the erotic billboards on the sides of trucks going down the neon-lit Strip, and you’ll see Las Vegas in its grace.

You’ll see the fountains in front of the Bellagio dancing beneath the dry, Nevada sky, or the city calling your name as you look at it atop the Stratosphere, wooing you from below into an evening that never ends, where the casinos make promises and the liquor makes you believe them… Continue reading

Using the Force

Watching Frankie “The Freight Train” Filippone fighting in the ring or protecting the streets of Virginia Beach can be an intimidating sight. Those who know the real Frank Filippone Jr., know that under his tough exterior is a heart of gold. He never misses a chance to use both his boxing and his badge for all the good he can. The 33-year-old Chesapeake, Va., resident has been a police officer for 10 years and boxing professionally for five. He lives his life by two constants. “My motto as a boxer is ‘keep punching,’” he says. “No matter what, I keep fighting. And my motto as a police officer is ‘Try to save a life before you take a life.’” Filippone is all about saving lives. He wants to make a difference in the lives of the teenagers who find themselves in the back of his police car. He wants to Read More

NBA Closeup — Kyle Korver

The filth and stench of the city was overwhelming. Little boys ran naked through the alleys. A slum-dwelling mother bathed her child under a small, open-air faucet. A grown man stooped over to brush his teeth with his finger, sand and street water.

These were just a few of the shocking images NBA star Kyle Korver witnessed during a trip to Calcutta, India in July 2008. Korver’s visit was a personally financed stopover that preceded his arrival in New Delhi with the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program… Continue reading

Uncommon Challenge