Ever seen goalball? Neither have the competitors

Ever seen goalball? Neither have the competitors »Play Video
Jen Armbruster will compete in goalball for another gold medal at the Paralympic Games in London.

PORTLAND, Ore. – It’s a sport you’ve likely never seen.

Neither have any of the competitors.

Portland's Jen Armbruster, 37, is headed to her sixth Paralympic games to compete in goalball – a unique game for the visually impaired. She already has one gold medal, but she’s never seen it.

Goalball is played on a volleyball-sized court, where teams of three try to throw a 3 lb. ball past their opponents and into a goal.

“It’s got four bells inside so it’s all about hand-ear coordination,” said Armbruster. “Everybody plays blindfolded so it doesn’t matter what your vision level is.”

Armbruster lost her vision as a teenager to Optic Neuritis.

“Even before I lost my vision I’d probably been playing organized sports since I was four or five,” Armbruster said.

She dreamed of playing basketball for Team USA, but her vision loss paved a new road to a gold medal.

“Throwing yourself on the ground, getting pummeled with the ball was definitely a draw, and the team sport aspect of it.”

Off the court, Armbruster is the Coordinator of Inclusive Recreation at Portland State University, which has a state of the art goalball court. Team USA plans to use the court to train before they leave for London on Aug. 11.