Tom Withrow first participated in the 1981 World Games for the Deaf in Hammer Throw. He has competed in 6 deaflympics and earned 5 medals. Coach and President of the USADTF for 17 years and counting.
I first got involved with Deaf sports through my former coaches, the late Tom Berg and the late Art Kruger, back in 1980. They gave me an opportunity to play for Team USA at the 1981 World Games for the Deaf (Deaflympics as it is called now) in Cologne, West Germany. I made it onto the team by meeting the agreed mark in hammer throw. I was hooked, and still am to this day: 2017 in Turkey will be my 10th consecutive summer Deaflympics.
It was the USADSF, along with those two gentlemen, who made me who I am right now. USADSF paved the journey for me and many other athletes over the years.
USADSF gives us Deaf athletes opportunities to pursue athletic passions beyond high school and college. Sports creates healthy mental, emotional and physical conditions, and leads to a healthy lifestyle. Be it at national or world competitions, players know they do not have to stop striving for athletic excellence once finishing school.
And now athletes from all over the US are able to dream big and reach for the highest possible level for Deaf athletes. Without USADSF, we would not have the opportunity to perform at such an elite level.
I must thank USADSF for all the opportunities they have offered to me and all athletes and coaches. I love to represent our beloved country, USA. I have always embraced the excitement as we approach either World Deaf Athletics Championships, PanAM Games for the Deaf, Youth PanAM Games for the Deaf, and Deaflympics.
I love to see the glow in athletes’ eyes, to feel the passion of competition. Nothing beats that feeling. Win or lose, the athletes gave their best and represented all that is the United States of America.