Nevada’s Waiters set to play in Deaflympics from Brazil

Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 7:37 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Wolf Pack will soon have an athlete competing on the world’s stage.

Senior volleyball player Kyla Waiters will represent the United States of America at the 24th Deaflympics from Brazil. The games take place May 1-15.

It was around third grade when Waiters says she was diagnosed with hearing loss.

“I would go into the classroom and put my hearing aids on and give the teacher the little microphone so I could hear her,” said Waiters. “As a kid, you want to be like everyone else. I want to be normal and not deal with this disability.”

“That took me a minute to grow out of,” said Waiters, who spent one season at Oregon State before transferring to Nevada.

Watiers’ 55 decibel loss puts her in between moderate and moderately severe, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The “normal” range is between -10 and 15 db.

“You know when someone says something and you just laugh because you didn’t know what they said? I do that all the time,” joke Waiters, adding her close friends and teammates all eventually learn to adjust.

Waiters says the experience thus far with Team USA’s Deaf Volleyball program has been great. She says she’s excited to not only represent her home country but also the many who deal with hearing loss.

“It’s such a small niche of people but they still exist and deserve to be heard and represented,” said Waiters. “I want to be someone they see and say, ‘Even though I have a hearing loss, I can do what she does. It’s possible.’”

Waiters is still raising money to cover the cost of participating in the Deaflympics. If you’d like to help, click here.

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