Amazing life of blind champion water-skier Steve Thiele revealed in new book Playing A Blinder
A DAREDEVIL who defied blindness to become a record-breaking water-skier has released a book of anecdotes from his amazing life.
Steve Thiele has been completely blind since the age of eight when he fell out of a tree and damaged his optic nerve.
But the accident hasn't stopped him living life to the full. He has won gold medals waterskiiing for Great Britain, flown a plane and gone scuba-diving.
The 47-year-old software engineer, from Audley, said he wrote Playing A Blinder, to inspire the blind and enlighten the sighted. He said: "A disability doesn't have to equate to being incapable or inactive.
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"I would tell my friends stories about the situations I've got myself into over the years and they would really laugh.
"I thought my stories might make other people laugh, and open people's eyes about what blind people are capable of."
The 187 page eBook contains a series of true stories from Steve's life, from sporting achievements to everyday life experiences.
These include his memories of scuba diving, riding motorbikes and winning those gold medals for Great Britain.
He also tells how in 2011 he become the first person to complete the long distance water-ski on open sea on a 70-mile route around Anglesey.
The father-of-two said he approached the book as he would any other challenge.
He said: "I spend all day typing away as part of my job, so I'm used to that part.
"I have speech recognition software so I could listen back to what I had written.
"I considered releasing a blooper reel along with the book as some of the typos were really funny – for example in one story I had written 'bear legs' instead of 'bare legs'."
He said he hopes the book will be enjoyed by his daughter Holly, aged 11, and six-year-old son Joshua. "Holly has been reading it and she thinks it's really funny," he said.
"When your parents are gone you always think of things you wish you'd asked them, so if nothing else the book will fill in the blanks for them when they're older."
Steve lives his life as he would if he were fully sighted. He puts this down to the influence of his family.
"When I was young my brothers would tease me if I used my white stick," he said. "They would say 'you don't need that thing'. "My parents would really encourage me to take part in whatever sports or activities I wanted too. That's how I got into water-skiing."
Steve's wife of 21 years, Rachel, aged 42, said she had been telling him to write an autobiography for years. She said: "There are so many funny and interesting stories. I'm really proud of him."
Playing A Blinder costs £2.56 from www.amazon.co.uk and can be read with a Kindle reader application.