Kyle Coon lost his sight at the age of six after a hard-fought battle with Bilateral Sporadic Retinoblastoma. However, not having sight has not stopped him from achieving his dreams. Since then, he has turned adversity into his vision, becoming an inspirational speaker, impressive athlete with passions that involve college wrestling, spin instruction and his most avid achievement, climbing and hiking.
As a young child, Kyle was shown how to embrace his adversity by world-class blind athlete Erik Weihenmayer who encouraged him to live life to the fullest. Kyle took Weihenmayer’s advice to heart and began to live his life without limits.
As part of Global Explorers, his 2006 expedition along the Ankascocha Trail into Machu Picchu, ushered him and teammates to the foundations of Team Sight Unseen, a group
of blind and visually impaired mountaineers whose goal is to help those who are blind and visually impaired realize their full potential. Kyle has climbed to amazing heights, not only in his personal obstacles but also in his mountaineering career, summiting heights such as Mt. St. Helens, in Washington and scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa.
As a young man, Kyle spoke to major organizations about his adversity and ultimate triumph, including The Rotary Club and The American Cancer Society. He has been featured on Oprah and in Backpacker Magazine. It was at this time that Kyle determined his story was worth sharing and discovered that he could make a difference in the lives of many people, those with and without disabilities.
Losing sight has only served as a base for Kyle’s ability to master his ambitions despite his inability to see them. Inspiring those with similar challenges and sharing a few laughs along the way has become his trademark.
A graduate of University of Central Florida with a degree in interpersonal-organizational communications, Kyle shares his message of living a life without limits to a variety of audiences as a motivational speaker. Drawing on his experiences as an outdoor adventurer and most recently as a member of Team USA’s Paratriathlete Team with a #2 World ranking, he demonstrates the importance of vision, commitment, and courage to living a life without limits and embracing the adversity along our life’s journey.
Having spoken to a diverse group of organizations over the last 10 years, Kyle brings a memorable presentation that is tragic, inspirational, and humorous compressed into one inspiring story. Using his mountaineering expeditions, his childhood challenges, and his quest to be a world-class triathlete to explain his philosophy, Kyle inspires his audience to appreciate the journey just as much as the destination. Through his stories, he will deliver a message of focusing on breaking barriers and achieving self-fulfillment in the face of life’s obstacles. Through his motivational speaking, his goal is to help people from all walks of life feel the urge to live beyond their assumed realm of possibility. While he is not the first blind person to climb a mountain or complete a triathlon, his goal is to make sure he is not the last.