Superhearoes:Athletes withhearing loss
In our “Superhearoes” sequel, we talk about famous people who work and live with a hearing loss and have achieved great career success in their lives. For us at hear.com, these personalities are true Superhearoes because they did not let themselves be stopped or intimidated by hearing loss, yet they thrived to their fullest every day.
Athletes from all corners of the world – and representing just about every sport – have shown that partial or total hearing loss is no bar for living a full and active life. These superhearoes train daily and perform at their highest capability, proving that hearing problems don’t need to be an isolating condition. Whether you enjoy playing weekend matches with friends or aspire to win the Olympics, don’t let your hearing loss stop you from achieving your goals. Like many of our sports superhearoes, with the appropriate hearing device, you are sure to live life to the fullest.
Terence Mike Parkin - a South African Olympic silver medallist
Despite being born profoundly deaf, Terence Mike Parkin has been a swimming pool superhearo since a very young age and, when only 20-years-old, won a silver medal in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Parkin competes for South Africa but says that as well as representing his country, he also wants to show ‘that the deaf can do anything.’ In addition to his second place in Sydney, Parkin has also won 33 Deaflympic medals, making him the most decorated Deaflympic athlete in nearly a century. Terence uses sign language to communicate with his coach, while strobe light signals tell him when to enter the pool.
Derrick Coleman - a National Football League superhearo
When he became part of the Seattle Seahawks NFL team, football fullback Derrick Coleman also legally became the first deaf offensive NFL player. Despite being severely deaf since the age of three, Coleman has never let his disability hold him back. He knows he plays an important role in the football world by being a model to deaf youngsters, yet the hard of hearing of all ages can certainly get some inspiration from him.
Ben Cohen - a UK rugby legend
So determined he was to achieve his goals despite his hearing loss, not all Ben Cohen’s fans were aware of his clinical deafness. When playing as part of the English national team that won the Rugby World Cup in 2005, Cohen was already suffering from a 33% hearing loss in both ears. During his rugby career, Cohen was heavily invested into making rugby more accessible to deaf young players. Moving on from his success in sports, Ben took to the dance floor on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013. He successfully showed that with the right hearing aids, winning first place in a dance competition is a no brainer. With his hearing loss being progressive, Cohen knows the importance of taking the best advice and seeking out the right hearing aids for your condition and lifestyle.
The Deaflympics - bringing together superhearoes from around the globe
Although not as widely known as the Olympics and Paralympics, the Deaflympics have been taking place every four years since it was first held in Paris in 1924. In fact, these games are fast approaching their centenary! The event, initially called The International Silent Games for the Deaf, was the brainchild of French-born Eugène Rubens-Alcais. Profoundly deaf himself, he invited nine European nations to take part and successfully raised awareness of how the deaf and significantly hard of hearing were able to fully participate in all areas of life. At this time, the deaf were often treated as outcasts and suffered prejudice throughout their lives. Since the first games in Paris, the Summer and Winter Deaflympics have taken place at venues all over the world.
Live a full and active life with the support of hear.com
Having some degree of hearing loss is a common condition among adults ages 50 and older. One in three people in the United States experience some sort of hearing loss by the time they reach their sixties. This condition is often gradual, and one might first notice it when conversations become harder to follow in busy restaurants or the TV volume has to keep increasing every time. The progressive loss of hearing can lead to a sense of isolation and difficulties in adapting to the routine, especially when one is used to an active social life.
But as Terence, Derrick, Ben, and the thousands of athletes who take part in the Deaflympics have shown, suffering from hearing loss is not an obstacle to living an active and fulfilling life. With the support of hear.com and our Partner Providers, our customers are finding it easier to enjoy life without ever missing a sound.