Blind teen swimmer works with guide dog as the 'perfect pair' to enter Paralympics

A blind teenage swimmer from New York has been training with a guide dog in the hope of joining the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo. At the age of 14, Anastasia Pagonis slowly began to lose her vision, around the same time her favorite hockey team — the New York Islanders —. took in a young Labrador retriever named Radar and groomed him to be a guide dog. The teenager decided to continue swimming, which she had only taken up six months prior to losing her sight. Yet this time, she wanted to do it competitively as a mid-distance freestyler. One day, the Guide Dog Foundation reached out to her to let her know about Radar, who would serve as her guide dog. The pair initially trained at Pagonis’ home for a short while before moving to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. “Having Radar has just given me so much independence and I’m literally in love with him,” the teen said. “He’s the best thing ever. We’re a match made in heaven”