5 Most Famous Deaf Athletes
The five most famous deaf athletes occupy a unique position in sports history. They have been able to overcome their handicap to compete on the highest of levels in their respective sport. Here are five of the most famous deaf athletes in history.
- Kenny Walker. Walker is an NFL player whose career ended after only two seasons. A star athlete at the University of Nebraska, Walker is one of two players in NFL history to be deaf. His autobiography tells his story: "Roar of Silence: The Kenny Walker Story."
- Curtis Pride. Pride is an athlete who made it to major league baseball, notably in spurts with replacements and other functions. His time in the MLB and minor leagues was recognized with the Tony Conigliaro Award in 1996, which signifies major league players who overcome such obstacles and adversity. He was also a starting point guard in high school and played on the 1985 U16 US team at the World Championships where he scored two goals.
- Terrence Parkin. Parkin is an Olympic swimmer who has set a number of records. Currently a coach, he has received medals in both Olympic and Deaflympics competitions.
- William Hoy. Born in 1862, Hoy is an old-timer athlete who played baseball. He was not only deaf, but stood at only 5'4" tall. He is known for being one of the shortest outfielders ever, a deaf baseball player, and known for founding hand signals used by umpires, managers, and players today.
- James Burke. Burke is a deaf athlete in the 19th century, who is known as being one of the first boxers to kill his opponent, before gloves were used. Burke held the English heavyweight championship as well.