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Deaf US swimmer makes it to big stage at Pan Ams

By Tales Azzoni
summarized by Julia Lynn Rubin, staff writer

Many might think of being deaf as a disability, but as deaf-born American swimmer Marcus Titus goes to show, it can be an incredible advantage. 25-year old Titus, who recently won a bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Pan American games, explains that being deaf helps him focus and stay in “his own world” during the competition as he is able to remain unaffected by noisy distractions. A strobe light lets him know when to dive off the starting platform in lieu of a starting gunshot. Titus uses a hearing aid and can speak with help from an interpreter, who accompanied him to the news conference and relayed reporter’s questions. After failing to qualify for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Titus hopes his presence and success at the Pan Am games will help him prepare for the 2012 Olympics team. To Titus, making the team would be the ultimate confirmation that his inability to hear will never slow him down.

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