August 3, 2016 Community
Tustin Hearing Center is anxiously awaiting the 2016 Rio Olympic Games to begin! We are ready to cheer on our USA Olympic athletes in each of their events and planning to wear our USA colors on the Olympics Opening Day.
We have great memories to look back on when it comes to the Olympics. In 2015, we had the pleasure of volunteering at the Special Olympics World Games, which took place in Los Angeles.
The Games, which hosted more than 6,500 Olympians from across the globe, for the first time ever featured a special venue called Healthy Athletes – a place where participants underwent a number of health exams, including hearing examinations that was facilitated by Audiologists and the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Practice owner and Audiologist – Dr. Janell Reid, along with Dr. Linda Farrow and Dr. Sneha Hinduja were delighted and honored to be among the volunteers.
“Participating in the World Games was incredibly exciting for us,” said Dr. Janell Reid. “One of the things that never gets old is when people hear their own voice for the first time. It’s a very exhilarating environment.” Language barriers along with the hearing impairments and intellectual challenges many athletes face meant communication took some creativity, Dr. Reid said. “Between nonverbal gestures and smiling and just the willingness on both sides, we made it work,” she said. “And they were wonderful. They were just so grateful.”
Another special tie that Tustin Hearing Center has to the Olympics is the chance to assist USA Olympic Volleyball player, David Smith. David was born nearly deaf and wears hearing aids and reads lips to understand his teammates. He played for the UC Irvine volleyball team from 2004 to 2007 and joined the US National Team in 2009. Every now and again David will stop by Tustin Hearing Center and have his hearing aids maintained, and we all get slightly star struck when he comes in. It is such a joy to be able to help a successful athlete who didn’t let his hearing challenge get in the way of achieving his dreams.
An inspiration to the deaf community is American swimmer Marcus Titus. Marcus may be deaf, but he’s one of the fastest swimmers in the nation. A native of Tucson, Arizona, Titus didn't start swimming competitively until his freshman year of high school, but he never let his disability stand in the way.
When potential roadblocks did pop up — most notably, he can't hear the buzzer that most swimmers go by to begin the race — he pushed for strobe lights to be installed under the starting blocks, evening things out when it's time to dive into the pool.
"To me, being deaf is not a disability," Titus said. "It's just hearing loss. Anyone can do it, if they have the passion to keep on training. It's just discipline, really. And I've had amazing coaches, amazing support, to help me keep on swimming."