Although COVID took a larger than expected spotlight during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, pushing the games back a full year into 2021, for audiologists, there was a special player on Team USA that caught our attention.
That player is David Smith, the 36 year old middle blocker of Team USA Men’s Volleyball. Including Tokyo, David has seen three Olympic games. With his 6-foot-7 stature, you may not be able to see, but David Smith wears hearing aids. David was born with a severe to profound hearing loss and worn hearing aids since the age of 3. He currently wears a set of Oticon Dynamo hearing aids. David’s hearing aids are powerful enough that he can hear many things, including the softer voices of his children, but he also relies heavily on lip reading, especially on the noisy volleyball court.
In a recent interview, David thanks his parents for keeping him involved in sports. He states that his hearing loss was less of a barrier in areas where he could watch and learn from others. He says “it was definitely a confidence booster”. Even as he plays overseas, he has become a role model for children with hearing loss, referencing a few children who wore his jersey at every game they attended. David hopes others with hearing loss see that they can achieve anything they want, even making it to the world’s biggest sporting event.
More information about David can be found at the links below: