He also has a doctorate in physical therapy and he is the winner of six world triathlon championships and seven national triathlon championships.
He's also visually impaired, very fast, and he's the first visually impaired triathlete to break the two hour mark at an Olympic distance triathlon.
But according to a new rule passed by USAT in March, if Scheidies wants to compete as a visually impaired athlete, he must now wear “black out” glasses when he races.
The new rule requires that visually impaired athlete wear “black out” glasses on the run making them basically completely blind.
“This is absurd,” said Farmington Hills attorney Richard Bernstein, who also is blind, a marathon runner and a triathlete.
"Taking away the little vision anyone has left by making them wear black out glasses is dangerous, absurd, and undoubtedly illegal," Bernstein added. “It certainly is no accommodation.”
For his part Scheidies thinks the glasses are also dangerous, “I tried to use black out glasses once,” he said. “The first time I put them over my eyes, I hit my head on a fence within a minute."
USAT believes that the “black out” glasses " “level the playing field”.
According to the Oakland Press:
"USA Triathlon Director of Marketing & Communications Chuck Menke said, “We are not aware of any complaint or action being taken in this regard, and therefore are unable to comment.”
Menke added, “As a point of clarification, the ‘black out glasses’ rule is an International Triathlon Union rule (16.14.i) which USA Triathlon is obliged to enforce as a member federation.”
Not all blind people have no visual perception.
“Maybe 85 percent of the visually impaired like me have some vision,” Scheidies said.
Scheidies, who says he became depressed as he lost his sight from macular degeneration, regained his confidence when he found he excelled at swimming, biking and running that make up a triathlon"
What do you think of the new "black out glasses" rule. Does it level the playing field or it is just plain dangerous and unnecessary?