Gymnast suffering Rod Monochromacy

The 18-year-old Alex Loch suffers from rod monochromacy. This is one kind of achromatopsia with a constricted over all vision.

The normal eye has rods and cones which support each other to see what we see. Cones are responsible for color and bright light conditions whereas rods are taking part in darker light conditions. Wich rod monochromacy your vision is determined solely by rods. Cones are completely absent or not working.

Alex Loch describes his vision conditions as follows:

  • complete color blindness
  • sensitivy to light and
  • restricted field of vision.

Despite all this he competed in Jr. Olympic National Championships as a gymnast.

It is fantastic to see how people can despite handicaps reach their goals.

Further readings:
Wikipedia: Monochromacy
Wikipedia: Rod Cell
Wikipedia: Cone Cell

8 responses on “Gymnast suffering Rod Monochromacy

  1. Mike

    I developed an interest in colorblindness after finding out a good friend of mine possessed the trait (my brown hair appeared blonde to him). With nothing better to do I did some research and compiled a list of famous colorblind people, which I will present here. People marked with an asterisk are completely colorblind.

    Ferdinand Reich (chemist)*
    George Brettingman Sowerby III (Conchologist)
    Knut Nordby (vision scientist)*
    Edward Troughton (instrument maker)
    George Woodbridge (illustrator)
    John Kay (lead singer of Steppenwolf)*
    A.B. Frost (artist)
    Jerry Barber (golfer)
    Rachael Scdoris (dog musher)*
    Antoni Gaudi (architect)
    Paul Newman (actor)
    Vinny Testaverde (quarterback)
    John Dalton (chemist)
    Emerson Moser (Crayola employee)
    Rabindranath Tagore (philosopher/artist)
    John Byrne (comic book artist)
    Meat Loaf (musician)
    Peter Ebdon (snooker player)
    Thoreau MacDonald (artist)
    Tim Sale (comic book artist)
    Hyde (Japanese singer)
    Anthony Burgess (novelist)
    Milton H. Erickson (psychiatrist)
    Charles Meryon (etcher)
    Airey Neave (British politician)
    Hal Sutherland (animator)
    Hugh Downs (TV host)
    Liam Lynch (musician)
    Alex Loch (gymnast)*
    Albert Uderzo (comic book artist)
    Schiaparellli (astronomer)
    Fred Rogers (TV host)
    Jimmy Robinson (writer)
    Charles Meryon (painter)
    Harry Caray (announcer)
    Jonny Greenwood (guitarist for Radiohead)*
    Jack Nicklaus (golfer)
    Bing Crosby (singer)
    Rutger Hauer (actor)
    Clara Blandick (actress)
    Victure Mature (actor)
    Howie Mandel (actor)

  2. Daniel Fluck Post author

    Steve, sorry for the quietness. I had to remove some teeth, my son needs a lot of attention and we just bought a house. That’s why I cut back and let it rest for a while.

    Mike, what an impressive list. Thanks for posting it here. I’ll definitely pick some stories of those persons for future articles.

  3. Steve Edney


    Fair enough. Other things need more attention that your blog!
    Good to see you are still around though.
    I know what time a son can take up!

  4. anne lennon

    I have just realised that my four year old is colourblind, as is my father. We live in Spain and he goes to a typical Spanish school, so he struggles a bit with the language but his teacher tells me he mixes well. She also said he doesn´t know his colours and at times appears overwhelmed, hence my realisation that he was confusing shades of colour and this was causing a certain amout of frustration. At this age it must be very difficult for him to feel confident in his own abilities and he is a very senistive boy. So I need some advice on how and what to say to him so he doesn´t loose heart.

  5. Daniel Flück Post author

    thanks for asking. I think many parents struggle when they realize that their child is colorblind. What should they do know? My personal opinion: Be upfront with your boy. Talk about it and what he feels. Try to find out, what he doesn’t like about it.

    Then you can try to find some strategies like marking colored pencils with names/signs. Or try to find another child at school which is the ‘personal color assistant’ of your boy, whereas your boy could help out the other with something else.

    It’s also important to talk with the teacher about it. The teacher and you have to learn not to choose colors for example on the blackboard which your boy can’t distinguish. This is very important because otherwise he gets more frustrated. A good technique is also to use colors combined with signs/patterns. With this everything is distinguishable and can be named not only with the color name but also differently (for example ‘the dotted line’).

    Arlene Evans wrote a book about color vision deficiency. It’s for young children and their parents/teachers. I wrote about it here. Maybe it can help you and your boy to understand color blindness better and to learn to handle it.

  6. Amicia Venn

    I’m beginning to research a novel where my mane character is an embalmer who has moncromacy. Anything you can tell me about this condition would help. I figured that clothes would be a problem. You could end up clashin alot so to get over this I thought maybe she would dress gothic like. If you know autobiographies this would help me too.

    Thank you

    Amicia Venn