WATCH: Gavin O’Sullivan has been legally blind since he was 13 but that has not stopped him from becoming a talented athlete and musician. Rob Leth reports.
TORONTO – When he’s not training for the 100-metre sprint, 18-year-old Gavin O’Sullivan can oftentimes be found in front of the piano, practicing some of his own songs.
It’s an impressively diverse range of interests for any high schooler – but even more so for Gavin, who has been legally blind since childhood.
Last May, O’Sullivan moved from Jamaica to Toronto, where his father has lived since 2004. According to the teen, Toronto, and in particular its school system, was much more accessible for him than his native Jamaica.
He said a series of accidents left his blind by the time he was 12, and he struggled in a classroom of over 60 kids.
BELOW: Gavin O’Sullivan, a visually-impaired 18-year-old at West Humber Collegiate, played a beautiful song for Global News cameras
But, all that was behind him Friday as he competed in the OFSAA track and field championships at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium, cheered on by his fellow West Humber Collegiate classmates.
O’Sullivan runs with the help of his guide and training partner, Lynden Bennett. Together, they’ve helped Gavin set the OFSAA record for a visually impaired student in the 100-metre.
WATCH: Gavin isn’t just pretty good on the piano – he also happens to be one heck of a sprinter as well
“I’m a proud Mom this morning,” Gavin’s mother, Lydia Bennett, told Global News. “Because I know he puts out his best, he wants to achieve his best, and I know he’s done it.”
When he’s not burning up the track, Gavin can be found in front of the piano, writing and playing his own music.
He said one of his dreams is to become a professional musician, and it doesn’t take long to hear that he’s quite talented in that department, too.
“He’s so focused,” Bennett said. “He loves what he does, and he’s so focused in what he does.”