Born Deaf, winning Gold
There are two athletes at the 28th Winter Universiade who share more than one could think of. They are both alpine skiers, both won a gold medal and they were both born deaf.
24 year-old Elena Yakovishina from Russia became the first athlete at the 2017 Winter Universiade who won a medal – in the Super G discipline.
26 years old Czech Tereza Kmochová, who won five gold medals at the 2015 Deaflympiade, earned her gold at the Parallel Nations Team Event.
Elena, who studies at Russian State University for Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism, found out that she’s deaf at the age of eight. She grew up in Kamchatka and local doctors thought the problem was in her brain. Despite of the bad medical conditions, she was never going to a special school. “This is much better. And I wanna show to all people, who have problems with hearing – it’s better to live with normal people.”
Tereza Kmochová from Czech Republic
A student of Charles University in Prague, Tereza says she has never had a problem with her condition. Her parents wanted her to learn to speak to be more independent. “I was learning from others and it all went fine, because I tried hard. Every problem has a solution, but it means a lot of help from other people and it doesn’t always go easy. But anything you want to do, you can do,” she says with a smile on her face.
We talked with these two inspirational and successful athletes about their first skiing experience and much more.