USA’s national basketball team started with a bronze medal win in the 1953 Summer Deaflympics. It turned into a 82-game Deaflympics winning streak where US men won 14 straight gold medals. The US women have never come home without a medal since 1981.
Beginning in the 1920s, traditional six-player volleyball was contested on the beaches of southern California, and in 1930 the doubles format was “invented” when four players decided to split up and play while waiting for the others to show up.
Bowling alleys have long served as a social outlet for many deaf and hard of hearing folks. The first regional deaf bowling tournament was held in 1934. There are several regional deaf bowling leagues nationwide, and plenty of deaf teams compete in local leagues.
The US Deaf Cycling Association (USDCA) is one of the longest-standing deaf sport organizations in the nation. American cyclists have been participating in world deaf competitions since 1965, garnering a total of more than 50 medals to date.
The US Deaf Golf Association (USDGA) goes back to the first national deaf tournament in 1980. The USDGA competes in the biennial World Deaf Golf Championship, where US golfers have consistently earned world team and individual honors.
The US sent their first deaf handball team to compete in the 1989 Deaflympics in Christchurch, NZ. Despite handball not being a widely-played sport in America, USADSF’s national handball teams have won several Deaflympics medals.
The American Martial Arts Association of the Deaf was established in 2000 to create opportunities for deaf martial artists. Well known unarmed combat practices include judo, karate, taekwondo, and sumo wrestling.
Racing against time, orienteers use detailed maps and compasses to navigate unfamiliar terrain to reach several control points in sequence. Navigation specifications are dictated by the method of travel, which is usually by foot but can be otherwise.
American deaf shooters made their international debut at the 1965 Summer Deaflympics. USA Deaf Shooting seeks to promote the sport by organizing friendly all-ages competitions and hosts training clinics with a focus on firearm safety and shooting techniques.
The USA presented its first national deaf soccer team at the 1965 Deaflympics, and have held their own against European and Latin American powerhouses. USA’s women have brought the gold since 2005.
American tennis players have been representing the US at the Deaflympics since 1953. To date, USA’s national teams have won more than 50 medals in international deaf championships. Emily Hangstefer, USA Deaf Tennis player, is the USADSF Sportswoman of the Year recipient for the second consecutive year.
USA’s deaf athletes have been winning medals at the international track field since 1935. US athletes have broken countless national and world records and set new ones that still stand. The USA is among the strongest contenders of the global deaf athletics community.
The US sent a team when the Deaflympics first introduced volleyball in 1969, and has participated in every Summer Games since. American women have been dominating the world’s deaf volleyball courts in the last few decades.
Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling are the two disciplines featured in world deaf championships and at the Deaflympics. American wrestlers have been bringing home medals since the 1961 Deaflympics.