Athletes of the Year

Congratulations go to Kaylin Yost and Matthew Klotz as they are named USA Deaf Sports Federation’s Sportswoman and Sportsman of 2017.

Kaylin Yost

Kaylin Yost was the only American female to earn the Gold medal in Golf at the 2017 Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey. This is also a huge accomplishment as Golf was introduced into the Summer Deaflympics this year, and Kaylin is the first woman golfer to represent the USA in this sport.

When she was asked to be on the team, Kaylin didn’t hesitate and was thrilled to have this opportunity to represent the USA. Kaylin dedicated endless hours to practice to ensure that her golf game is in top shape.

At first, she was the only golfer whom we thought would win the tournament easily. Indeed she lead over the Norwegian who was ranked 3rd by a huge margin, then played against an Indian who is 16 years old and ranked #1 in her age group in her home country. However, the match between the two women was very tense. Kaylin won on the last hole by putting out a 8 footer. Then during the final playoff, Kaylin kept her cool by putting out 10 feet and won the match.

Kaylin is a full-time professional golfer and is on the Symetra tour. Her aspiration is to become a full-fledged member of Ladies Professional Golfers Association (LPGA). This is an amazing profession for a deaf woman to hold and we are very proud of her.

Matthew Klotz

Matthew Klotz, 21, earned 5 medals at the 2017 Deaflympics held in Samsun, Turkey. He swam in all individual events; 50 back, 100 back and 200 back and won 3 Gold medals and set Deaflympics records in all of the events. He also set World Records in the 50 and 200 back. He took Silver Medals in the 50 fly and 50 free. He was also part of the 4×100 Mixed Medley and 4×100 Mixed Free Relays that also set American records.

More importantly than these medals, Matthew was Team Captain for USA Deaf Swimming. He was the only returning USA member for Deaflympics and he led by example. He was a positive role model to others on the team, and was also motivating and encouraging them to enjoy the experience. Not only was he a role model to USA members, he showed great sportsmanship to other countries as well.
Matthew interacted with athletes and coaches from other countries, as well as member of other athletic teams.

He was humble and sportsmanlike with every race whether he win or lose, posed for pictures with fellow athletes, coaches, staff, and Turkish volunteers. His most important goal was to reconnect with people from all over the world that he had met before, make new connections, and represent USA with pride and honor.

Matt Klotz’s accomplishments at the 2017 Summer Deaflympics:

3 Gold Medals:
• 50 Back Stroke – broke World Record and Deaflympics Record
• 100 Back Stroke – broke Deaflympics Record
• 200 Back Stroke – broke World Record and Deaflympics Record

2 Silver Medals:
• 50 Butterfly
• 50 Freestyle