football and pads on a football field
football and pads sitting on a football field

Sports Personalities and Athletes Who Use Hearing Aids

In the competitive world of sports, athletes are admired for their strength, agility, and endurance. However, some of the most inspiring stories come from those who overcome personal challenges, including hearing loss, to excel at their game. Today, we’re celebrating sports personalities and athletes who use hearing aids, showcasing their achievements and highlighting how overcoming hearing loss has contributed to their success. Their stories serve as a powerful reminder that with determination, support, and the right technology, anyone can reach their full potential.

Derrick Coleman: Breaking Barriers in the NFL

Derrick Coleman, the first legally deaf offensive player in the NFL, is a shining example of overcoming adversity. Despite being told he would never make it in football due to his hearing loss, Coleman proved his detractors wrong. Using hearing aids and relying on his ability to read lips, he became a key player for the Seattle Seahawks, even helping his team secure victory in Super Bowl XLVIII. Coleman's story is not just about sports; it's a testament to resilience and the power of not letting hearing loss define one's capabilities.

David Smith: Volleyball Virtuoso

David Smith, a middle blocker for the United States men's national volleyball team, has made significant waves on the international stage, all while managing profound hearing loss. With hearing aids as an integral part of his equipment, Smith has competed in multiple Olympic Games and world championships. His ability to communicate effectively with his teammates, despite the noisy environments of professional volleyball, underscores the importance of adaptive technologies in leveling the playing field for athletes with hearing loss.

Tamika Catchings: A Legacy in the WNBA

Tamika Catchings, a former professional basketball player for the Indiana Fever and an Olympic gold medalist, has been open about her struggle with hearing loss from a young age. Catchings wore hearing aids and faced bullying as a child, but she never let her hearing loss hinder her dreams. Throughout her illustrious career, she became one of the most decorated players in WNBA history, using her platform to advocate for those with hearing impairments and to inspire young athletes to embrace their differences.

Terence Parkin: The Silent Torpedo

Terence Parkin, a deaf swimmer from South Africa, has defied expectations throughout his career. Known as the "Silent Torpedo," Parkin has competed in multiple Paralympic Games, winning numerous medals, including gold. Without the ability to hear starting signals, Parkin has relied on visual cues and his extraordinary determination to excel in his sport. His achievements have made him a role model for aspiring athletes with hearing loss worldwide.

Jeff Float: Making Waves in Swimming

Jeff Float, an American swimmer who won gold at the 1984 Olympics, is another athlete who has not let hearing loss stand in his way. With approximately 90% hearing loss, Float became the first American with a hearing impairment to win an Olympic gold in swimming. His victory was a watershed moment, proving that athletes with hearing loss can achieve the highest accolades in their sports. 

These athletes demonstrate that hearing loss is not an obstacle to achieving greatness in the world of sports. Their success stories are a source of inspiration for anyone facing similar challenges, showing that with the right support, technology, and determination, there are no limits to what can be achieved.

senior man in green sweater looking at cell phone

Online Hearing Test

Not sure if you hearing loss? Click the link below to try our free online test.
Beltone HCP handing senior man hearing aids in charging case

Book Your Free Appointment

Schedule a free hearing screening and discover the hearing aid that’s a perfect fit for you.