San Antonio - Welcome Home Community News

June 2019 • Welcome Home 18 I f you were to ask Carli Cronk, a seventh grader at Bradley Middle School, if being born deaf has ever stood in her way – she would tell you “no.” “Honestly, it doesn’t bother me because I am the same as everyone else, even if I have to wear hearing aids and can’t hear as well [as others],” she explained. And you don’t have to just take her word for it – Carli is an outstanding honor student and an accomplished multi-sport athlete. She swims six days a week year round with the Alamo Area Aquatic Association and for the Hidden Forest Piranhas in the summer. Carli was recently selected to attend the USADeaf Swimming Select National Team for 2019 World Deaf Swimming Championships to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 25-31, 2019. “When I first found out that I had been selected, I was mostly in shock,” said Carli. “I didn’t expect I would get in because there are so many other great deaf athletes all around the world, and I didn’t expect I would become one of the athletes representing the USA. I was super happy and I just couldn’t stop smiling all day because it was such a great accomplishment for me.” Carli has been swimming competitively since she was five years old. The moment she enters the pool, she feels completely at ease. “[It’s a place where] I can be myself,” she explained. “I don’t really have to worry about my surroundings and can just do what I love doing.” Over 30 countries will be represented at the World Deaf Swimming Championships. Team USA athletes range in age from 13 to 22 and come from 10 different states across the United States. All athletes must have a hearing loss of at least 55 dB in the better ear plus meet minimum time cuts in order to be eligible to participate in international deaf competition. Carli is coached by Tracy Spurgeon at the Alamo Area Aquatic Association. C a r l i C r o n k E a r n s T r i p T o WORLD DEAF SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS By Alissa Reinhard “ I love that while swimming I can be myself. I don’t really have to worry about my surroundings and can just do what I love doing.” – Carli Cronk, Bradley MS Student & Competitive Swimmer