Women’s Health Magazine: An Eye-Opening Experience with Gretchen Bleiler
The Olympic snowboarding sweetheart discovers the beauty of volunteering abroad
OneSight Global Eye Care Clinic
Taking a break from chasing snow around the globe, top women’s snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler headed to sunny South Africa last September to volunteer at the OneSight Global Eye Care Clinic sponsored by Oakley in Mamelodi, a township of a million just 50 miles north of Johannesburg. The modest Olympic medalist and four-time Winter X Games champ (she’s defending her title in Aspen this January) joined a diverse group of volunteers—including opticians, licensed doctors, eyewear industry professionals, local celebs, and a handful of church-goers from Ohio—in administering free eye exams and hand-delivering prescription frames and non-prescription sunglasses to 10,000 people in need.
“I came into it with an open-mind, ready and excited to be a part of it,” says the Aspen-raised halfpipe heroine. “I was totally in awe of the entire operation. Now when I go on vacation or plan trips I want to always have that volunteer component. It’s so rewarding.”
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