Myles Porter first took a judo course during college at the University of Toledo. He very quickly made his mark, competing in his first international competition in 2006 and taking fifth. That same year, still only 20 years old, he became just the third legally blind judoka to earn a national ranking among sighted athletes when he placed second at the Dallas Invitational Tournament.
Porter qualified for his first Paralympic Games in 2008, where he finished fifth. "I'm playing catch up because I've only been in the sport for a few years,” he’s said. His training partner for Beijing had been practicing judo for 22 years, longer than Myles had been alive.
And now he’s set a new goal: to qualify for both the Paralympics and the Olympics in 2012. The rules and moves of Paralympic judo and sighted judo are not the same, but the additional training and competition has already shown results: Myles is ranked #3 in the U.S. in the men’s 100 kg division.
And in November 2011, competing at the Parapan American Games in a bout that was seen as a preview for the London Paralympics, Myles took his first gold medal in international competition by beating the defending Paralympic champion, four-time gold medalist Antonio Tenorio da Silva of Brazil.