COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Casey King is a junior soccer player at Bishop Hartley high school, and she was born deaf, suffering from bi-lateral hearing loss in both ears. Despite her challenges, Casey is the captain of the women’s soccer team at Hartley, and she was the starting forward for Team USA in the World Deaf Football Championship tournament this past summer.
“It was just the most amazing experience and that experience just really helped improve my determination, and it just made me want to win even more,” said King.
Casey shined as a rookie for Team USA by scoring two goals in the championship game to help Team USA win the gold medal in their championship 2-0 victory over Russia.
“She gets so much out of being with the deaf players and from other players that have gone through what she has,” said Casey’s father Tom King. Her mother Sandra added, “I almost feel like she’s kind of this ambassador for the sport in a lot of ways because she can bring it in with a disability and still be able to perform at a pretty good level.”
When she was thirteen years old, Casey received a cochlear implant in one ear, and it allowed her to hear natural sound for the first time. However, Casey relies on her interpreter, Bianca to aid her at school and on the soccer field.
“At practice when the coach is talking or really far away, of course, there’s no way I’d be able to hear him, so she’s always there with him interpreting for me and helping me,” said King.
To her teammates, Casey’s merely another talented soccer player on the Hawk’s roster. Head coach Scott Dempsey says Casey stands inspiration to all around her.
“She has a really amazing innate desire to be the best at everything she does…that makes her wonderful to work with but it makes all the players around her better, she’s just fantastic in that way,” said Dempsey.
The Hartley Hawks host Newark Licking Valley in the second round of the Division II District Tournament tomorrow night at 7pm.