despite his blindness.
His return to the mat sparked an athletic career that brought Mastro numerous honors. His latest came in May when he received the Medal of Courage during induction ceremonies for the United States National Wres- tling Hall of Fame.
The Medal of Courage continues what has been a whirlwind of attention for Mastro in 2008. Earlier this year, he was one of five Paralympic nominees for the U.S. olympic Hall of Fame, and his accomplishments were featured in a story published at ESPN.com.
Mastro’s U.S. olympic Hall of Fame nomination recognized his place in history as the first person ever to medal in four different Paralympic sports – judo, wrestling, track and field, and goal ball. Goal ball is a three-on-three, full body, soccer-style game played by blind-folded athletes. He competed on seven Paralympic teams from 1976 to 2000, winning four gold, four silver, and two bronze medals. He also was elected flag bearer for the U.S. Para- lympic Team in 1996.
If there were any doubts about his ath- leticism, Mastro dissuaded them for
Mastro demonstrates moves in his Judo class.
good in 1996 when he became the first blind athlete to earn a slot on an olym- pic team as an alternate for the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling squad. Mastro also made the U.S. team in the 1973 World University Games, where he remembers fans following him around in disbelief.
“They were amazed that a blind guy could make it,” says Mastro, whose opponents quickly learned never to underestimate him.
overall, Mastro earned 18 interna- tional medals in various sports. He was inducted into the Augsburg Col- lege Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997 and the National Beep Baseball Associa- tion (NBBA) Hall of Fame in 1999 as a member of nine NBBA tournament teams and as a three-time most valu- able player. Continued on next page
Bemidji State University