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Paralympian’s Guide Dog Has Changed Her Life

Anastasia is a Paralympic swimmer for Team USA. Like all athletes, she trains super hard and is dedicated to her teammates, and their will to win is inspiring.

Due to a genetic disease and an autoimmune disease, Anastasia has progressively lost her sight over the years, and has now lost all usable vision. Undeterred, Anastasia just focused on remaining independence and making sure she could do everything for her team.

Anastasia Pagoanis via The Dodo

With the help of her loyal guide dog Radar, she attends swim practice at 4 am in the morning.

When Anastasia welcomed Radar into her life, she wasn’t exactly sure of what her guide dog would help her with. But after a few weeks of working with him, she realized that he was going to change her life for the better.

Anastasia Pagoanis via The Dodo

Radar sleeps on his back, next to Anastasia, with his paws up in the air. He paints the picture of the happiest dog on the planet. And Anastasia can’t remember a time when Radar hasn’t been happy!

Whenever she’s sad or feeling down about something, Radar is there to comfort her and snuggle. He’s so much more than a guide dog, he’s her best friend and companion.

Anastasia Pagoanis via The Dodo

He’s also Anastasia’s biggest fan – he’s always at the pool with her and loves saying hi to her fellow USA team members.

Anastasia first got into swimming when she was losing her sight, as she decided that soccer wasn’t the best sport to play when you can’t see! Her achievements in such a short space of time are nothing short of incredible, and she dedicates a lot of her success to her coach, Marc.

Anastasia Pagoanis via The Dodo

But she also knows the incredible contribution that Radar has made to her life. She believes that she wouldn’t be going to the Olympics in Tokyo this year if it wasn’t for her buddy. She sums up their relationship in the following way:

“Radar has changed my life. I wouldn’t say he’s my partner in crime. He’s like a part of me. He’s my eyes. That’s pretty much what he is.”

I’m sure you’ll join us in wishing Anastasia and the rest of Team USA all the very best at the Paralympics this summer. We’re sure that Radar and her fans will be right there cheering her along every step of the way.

Good luck, Anastasia!

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