The 2012 London Olympics are nearing their final days and anticipation is building as the U.S. Men’s Olympic Volleyball team continues on toward medal standings. Our team here at ESHC has been rooting on the talented team of players, especially #20, David Smith, the UC Irvine graduate who has achieved more than anyone thought possible for a boy with severe hearing loss playing a team sport. Smith, 27, is a first-time Olympian that has not let his disability get in the way of achieving greatness. He says that his doctors believe that that his hearing loss is in the 80-90 percent range and he has worn hearing aids in both ears since he was 3. “Every once in a while it affects me,” he said to the Huffington Post. “But this is the only way I’ve ever known how to play.”
Shortly before leaving for the Olympic Games, David upgraded his hearing devices to a style that many of our patients use, the Oticon Chili to further enhance his game. The six-foot-seven-inch athlete explains that his main problem in rigorous play is that hearing aids “go out,” primarily due to excess moisture from sweat. In an interview with International Press he explained this fear and went on to say, “But I just got these before the Olympics and I don’t seem to have any problems,” he said, raising both hands to his ears.
David is an inspiration to us all, but especially to people with hearing loss. We are excited to hear that he will join hearing aid manufacturer Oticon, when he return from the games, on a patient education campaign, talking about his performance with his new hearing instruments on and off the court.
The US Olympic Volleyball team has already won over Serbia and Germany and tonight prepares to face Italy during the quarterfinal round. The match will start at 8 a.m. local time and will be aired on Olympic Prime-time tonight on NBC. Join us as we cheer on the team racing after gold!