Liza Corso, an incoming freshman this fall, will compete against some of the best runners on the planet in Tokyo, Japan at the Paralympics while her classmates at Lipscomb are starting their school year. Her race will mark the first time a Bison has competed in either an Olympic or Paralympic event.
Corso is one of the six fastest 1500-meter runners in her Paralympic class. When Corso finally hits the track in the Paralympic Games on Saturday, she will have every reason to feel proud of herself.
Despite all of her achievements and the impressive pinnacle she will reach this weekend, Corso is set on a goal that has nothing to do with success. Corso said she wishes that her struggle with vision impairment will be an encouragement to others.
“I hope that I am able to inspire others through my running journey,” Corso said. “I want others to know that even if you are facing an obstacle, with hard work and dedication you can overcome it.”
A native of Newmarket, New Hampshire, Corso also has felt immense support from her home base.
“I have felt a lot of support from not just my family but also people that I have never met,” Corso said. “Everyone back home has been very supportive and excited. All of the support and energy helps motivate me to put my best self out there on the track, and I couldn’t be where I am without all the people who have helped me along the way.”
Corso qualifies for the Paralympics in the T13 classification, the least impaired class of three categories for vision impairments in track and field events (known as athletics in the Games). Born with a chronic genetic disorder called albinism, Corso’s eyesight was affected by her disease from birth.
“I have had albinism my whole life, so I don’t know what running is like without it,” said Corso.
“As for any runner, every workout is full of physical and mental challenges. Even with these challenges, I enjoy seeing how far I can push myself to accomplish my goals.”
As for her status as the first Lipscomb representative at the Paralympics, Corso says she’s excited to be a Bison even though she hasn’t even officially competed for the Bisons.
“I am so honored to be able to represent Lipscomb at the Paralympics and I am so proud to be a Bison!” Corso said. “I have already experienced so much love and support from the Lipscomb community, and I am very excited to attend this fall.”
And of all the accolades and impressive moments that have led her to Tokyo, it’s her perseverance that Corso admits is what makes her most proud of her running career at this young age.
Corso said, “I think the thing that makes me most proud as I look back at my running journey is my ability to put the challenges aside and do what I love. I have never let my low vision get in the way of me accomplishing my goals.”
Corso’s race is at 7 p.m. local time (5 a. m. CDT) on Aug. 28 at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. The race will be nationally televised live on cable via NBC Sports Network and the Olympic Channel. It can also be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com.
Photo courtesy of Liza Corso’s Instagram