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The Olympics bring a tremendous opportunity to watch people accomplish great feats, in some instances defying all odds. Read more...
The Olympics bring a tremendous opportunity to watch people accomplish great feats, in some instances defying all odds.  We have noticed a few special American athletes who, in spite of their hearing loss, will be competing with the best of the best for gold.
Professional volleyball player David Smith is one of those athletes.  He was born with hearing loss in both ears and has worn hearing aids his entire life.  Smith, now 31, will be competing with team USA on the 2016 Men’s Olympic Volleyball Team.
He graduated from Saugus High School in Santa Clarita Valley, California in 2003.  John Speraw, former coach at University of California, Irvine, recruited Smith to play for UCI.
“The raw athleticism is what I first saw, and it wasn’t subtle.  It jumped out at me — literally,” says Speraw.
In 2004, Smith joined the U.S. Junior National volleyball team where he played for two years. In 2007, his senior year at UCI, he won an NCAA Division I championship. Despite his hearing loss he joined the U.S. National Team which has lead him to the Olympics.
Although sometimes during matches he is completely unable to hear, his dedication and hard work have made his hearing loss basically unnoticeable to his coaches and teammates. While some rules do have to be modified to accommodate his hearing loss, most say that it’s difficult to notice he has any sort of hearing impairment at all. Standing at 6 feet 7 inches tall, Smith has always been a true athlete, though even he says that he finds it hard to believe he will be defending USA Gold in Rio this year.
“If someone were to go back and tell the 14-year-old me that volleyball was going to take me to college, around the world, to the Olympics and beyond, I am pretty sure I would not have believed them,” Smith Says.
The men’s volleyball gold medal match is scheduled for Aug. 12 where the team has hopes of winning their second straight Olympic gold medal.
Smith was born with significant hearing loss, however he has overcome any obstacle that threatened to slow him down both in his personal life and career as a professional volleyball player.
There is often a lot of fear and stigma around hearing loss and taking the first steps to get your hearing checked can be scary. However, David Smith is the perfect example of someone who refuses to let hearing loss get in his way.
- http://www.signalscv.com/archives/70605/
- https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=Santa+Clarita+Valley
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Smith_(volleyball)
- http://www.teamusa.org/usa-volleyball/athletes/David-Smith
Written by Corinda Santos, Marketing Coordinator