He burst onto the world scene relatively unknown at the 2013 Summer Deaflympics, but at the end of the Games, Matthew Klotz was a name that was on the hands of everyone.
Klotz, who set two Deaf World Records in the backstroke events at the Deaflympics, was named the Male Athlete of the Year by the USA Deaf Sports Federation.
A resident of Cameron Park, Calif., Klotz, 17, set seven American Deaf records in two different swimming events and earned three medals at the recent Deaflympics. Klotz started swimming at the age of four because his older sister, Stephanie, was on the team and he happened to be at the aquatic center everyday. That led to Klotz joining the Sierra Marlins swimming team in Folsom, Calif. Klotz has been in the pool for 13 years, nine of these years as a competitive swimmer.
“We were introduced to Matt through a former swimmer just a few months before the Deaflympics,” said Doug Matchett, the executive director of U.S. Deaf Swimming. “He blended in immediately with the team and became a natural leader.”
“Matt was a fantastic swimmer [for us],” said USA Deaflympics swimming head coach Marcus Titus.
Klotz is a senior at Vista Del Lago high school and is being recruited by several NCAA Division I programs to swim competitively. Klotz’s Deaflympics coach, Marcus Titus, swam for the University of Arizona during his collegiate career. Titus won two straight USADSF Athlete of the Year awards (2011 and 2012). Klotz’s older sister, Stephanie, currently swims for the University of Alabama.
“I expect Matt to continue to grow stronger and to become a furious swimmer – he has a lot of fire inside him,” said Matchett. “I expect a lot from him at the January 2014 DISCSC (Deaf International Short Course Swimming Championships) in Rochester, NY.”
“There’s no doubt Matt will be one of our strongest swimmers in 2017 at the next Deaflympics, along with Marcus Titus and current USDS members,” added Matchett.