An athlete who broke a deaf world record in high school and the first executive director of USADSF are the two inductees into the 2011 USA Deaf Sports Federation Hall of Fame.
As a high school prepster, Ken Pedersen of Fremont, Calif. exceled as an athlete in three different sports: football, basketball and track. During his high school years between 1963-1967, Pedersen nabbed All-American honors from different publications as well as all-star recognition in his local preparatory leagues. In track, he ran a scorching 1:53.9 in the 800m in 1966. As a teenager in the 1965 World Games for the Deaf, he won a bronze in the broad jump (21’6”).
Pedersen was the first high school teenager from the United States to break a deaf world record when his time of 1:53.9 in the 800m in 1966 set a new record. That record time has remained as a national prep record for the past 46 years.
As the first, and only, Executive Director of the American Athletic Association of the Deaf, Shirley Hortie Platt was a reckoning force in the AAAD as her drive and determination helped women’s softball become an official sport, followed by women’s basketball. Under her stewardship, a beautiful home office was established in Ogden, Utah and AAAD published the popular magazine, Deaf Sports Review as well as continuing the AAAD Bulletin.
Platt has served for more than three decades as a long-time leader and women’s advocate in the deaf sports world.
In 1969, Pedersen was once again on the World Games for the Deaf team to Yugoslavia and he won two silver medals in the 4×100 and 4×400 meter relays, breaking American records in both events. He nabbed a bronze medal in the individual 400-meter race (49.2 seconds), again setting American record.
Platt represented AAAD proudly at many USOC and NGB events and fought to make our voice heard for parity and equality for USA Deaflympics athletes. She also represented the USA with past president Larry Fleischer at the Deaflympics in Bulgaria, Denmark, and Finland and the Pan American Games in Venezuela.
Both Pedersen and Platt will be inducted into the USADSF Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 21, in a breakfast ceremony at the annual House of Delegates meeting in Houston, Texas. USADSF is grateful for the support of Sorenson Communications in sponsoring this special breakfast reception in honor of Mr. Pedersen and Ms. Platt.