Creative Person of the Week

16 Mar

Erik Weihenmayer (born September 23, 1968) is the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on May 25, 2001. He also completed the Seven Summits in September 2002. His story was covered in a Time article in June 2001 titled Blind to Failure. He is the author of Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye can

After he became blind, at first, Weihenmayer did not want to use a cane or learn Braille. He wanted to prove that he could continue living as he had. He tried to play ball, but once he understood that he was incapable of doing so, he learned to wrestle. In high school he went all the way to the National Junior Freestyle Wrestling Championship in Iowa. At that time he started using a guide dog. Then he went to Boston College and graduated as an English major. He became a middle-school teacher and wrestling coach. In 1997, he married Ellie Reeve The wedding took place at Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. They have a daughter, Emma.

Erik is an acrobatic skydiver, long distance biker, marathon runner, skier, mountaineer, ice climber, and rock climber. He is a friend of Sabriye Tenberken, whom he visited in Tibet to climb with teenagers from the school for the blind. A documentary film based on the project, Blindsight, was released in 2006. Another documentary, Fellowship of the Andes, was produced by Dutch filmmaker Bernd Out. The film shows how Erik inspires a team of blind and visually impaired students on their mountain trek across the Andes in June 2006.[2] In addition, Erik is an active speaker on the lecture circuit. He is represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau.

In 2011, he competed on ABC’s Expedition Impossible.


(Excerpt from


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