A little about me, in my own words.
Hi! Thank you for visiting my webpage to find out more about me, my swimming, and Shoes for the Souls.
My name is McClain Hermes, I am 15 years old and a student at Gwinnett Online Campus.
When I was eight I had four emergency eye surgeries due to retina detachments. I am completely blind in my right eye, but I still have some vision in my left eye. It’s like seeing through a little straw and through that straw there is not much clarity. My vision loss is progressive. I current have less than a 5 degree field of vision and 20/600 corrected visual acuity. I turned my disability of being blind into my ability! I am a Paralympic swimmer that currently holds 15 American record, 1 PanAmerican record, and 1 World record. In August 2015, I represented Team USA at the 2015 ParaPan American games and won a bronze medal in the 400 M freestyle.
I will be representing Team USA at the Paralympic Games in Rio!
I have also started a non-profit organization, Shoes for the Souls, which over the last seven years has donated over 15,000 pairs of new and slightly used shoes to a local homeless shelter.
If you look at this website, you may think that all I do is swim and collect shoes… but I am a mostly normal teenager that enjoys many different things.
I LOVE to read!! I enjoy listening to books while I do everything. I enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and realistic fiction books. My favorite book… well that’s like asking which child parents love the most! I love a lot of books… too many to list!
Like most teenagers, I enjoy hanging out with my friends that live in Georgia, but I also enjoy talking to my friends that live out of state through Skype, text, and Facetime. I have so many wonderful friends and mentors that I have made through Paralympic Swimming and I always count down the days until we get to talk in person. These are my friends Ahalya and Bre at a meet in North Dakota.
I enjoy riding my tandem bike with my best friend, Mikayla. We ride all around our neighborhoods and we sometimes go to the park. We also take our dogs for walk/runs… although we mostly walk because I do not like to run! Mikayla and I did do a triathlon this summer though.
We have three adorable dogs! Their names are Zeus, Darcy, and Scarlet. Scarlet is a 2 year goldendoodle and Darcy (2 years old) and Zeus (10 years old) are both standard poodles. They are crazy and a big mess but I love to play with them!
I also have an older brother and sister who I enjoy playing games with. We don’t always get along but we love each other at the end of the day! I enjoy singing with my mom and dad. We are all terrible singers but on my way to or from practice the radio is always on and our voices are always out of sync.
I enjoy getting to mentor younger athletes and children with similar visual impairments to my own. I like being able to be a good role model to them and being able to teach them good and important life lessons. I also love to make people laugh! I have a great sense of humor and I like to make a lot of blind jokes! I like to pull funny pranks and make smart aleck comments. I like to make light of my situation and make other people smile and laugh.
Thank you for visiting my website and being interested in my swimming, philanthropy, and motivational speaking!