Famous Deaf Athletes
The best famous deaf athletes are those who defy their condition of being hearing-impaired for the purpose of excelling at their individual sport of choice. These famous deaf athletes have all overcome a certain degree of adversity in their lives to get to where they are, and they did it with a winning attitude and approach.
- Shelley Beattie. Shelley Beattie is the best famous deaf athlete because she, perhaps, had the most highly visible profile of all, at least in the last couple of decades. If you were a fan of the old TV series "American Gladiators," you will remember the female gladiator by the name of 'Siren'. Shelley Beattie was 'Siren', and she also was a professional bodybuilder who placed in the top three at the 'Ms. Olympia' and the ;Ms. International' bodybuilding events. Unfortunately, she committed suicide in February of 2008 because of the lingering effects from her lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder.
- William Hoy. If you are a student of baseball history, then you may remember William Hoy, who lived from 1862 to 1861 and played as an outfielder in the National League for a good part of his stretch. He is the second most famous deaf athletes, gaining notoriety for being one of the shortest outfielders to have played professional baseball, standing only five feet and four inches tall. Childhood meningitis is what caused Hoy to become deaf, but at the professional level, he is credited with starting the hand signals that baseball players, umpires and managers still employ up to this day and age.
- Terrence Parkin. If you want a still-living example of a deaf athlete, then Terrence Parkin meets this criteria. Parkin is still a young man at only 30 years old, and he was born deaf, yet what makes him appear on this list of the famous deaf athletes is the fact that his determination took him to the Olympics just the same. A winner at the 2005 Deaflympics (because even the deaf deserve their own Olympics despite the fact that they don't want to be judged by their disability exclusively), Parkin now coaches both healthy kids and deaf kids and is married, too.