As a forward for the U.S. Deaf Soccer Women’s National Team, Casey King is running life her way. A member of the team since 2014, King played in the 2016 Deaf World Cup in Italy and is looking forward to her next adventure after graduation.
“I just find the game to be very beautiful. You play with 10 other people on the field and it’s just fun. There’s so much creativity within the game. It’s a team sport, so you’re not alone out there,” said King. “I was 10 when I first heard about the U.S. Deaf Soccer Women’s National Team. I contacted one of the players on the team because I just wanted to hear more about it and thought she would be a good role model for me. We had similar hearing loss.”
Before her dad signed King up for soccer, she was always an active child and never good at sitting still. Soccer has given King the opportunity to “play with different types of people and teams.”
When she traveled to Italy in 2016 to represent the United States in the Deaf World Cup, King played against people from across the globe.
“I was 16 at the time and it was a really good experience, especially the final game. We played against Russia. The U.S. and Russia have always had a rivalry, and we won,” said King. “We also played against Poland, Italy, Turkey, and Great Britain. It was one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had. The team is just really special to me, because it was a wonderful group of girls that I bonded with. We just understood the battles we’ve had to go through in our lives.”
King has started training for the 2023 World Deaf Championship and is looking forward to the new partnership with U.S. Soccer.
“You have to be invited to go to a training camp. In January, we went to Florida, and the next one will be in Chula Vista, California,” said King. “It’s really an honor to be invited, especially because we are now under the umbrella of U.S. Soccer.”
While playing, King and her teammates depend on the leadership of their coach, the team staff, interpreters, and each other to communicate.
“During practice, we get instruction from the coach. We’re usually standing in a half circle so that everyone can see the coach, and there’s also an interpreter present. There’s usually three interpreters and they’re standing in certain places around the field. During games and practice, everyone takes off any amplification devices that they might have,” said King. “During a game, we communicate with each other with a lot of gesturing and the use of our hands on the field. We also have a flag that tells us when time is up or when there’s a substitution.”
According to U.S. Soccer, “Deaf soccer is contested by deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes. Under international criteria, players must have a hearing loss of at least 55 decibels in their better ear.”
When King first started at Capital, she thought she wanted to be a doctor, but after learning what her future career could look like, she decided that nursing was a better fit.
“I switched from pre-med to nursing because I shadowed a deaf doctor and he was explaining what he does on a daily basis. Only 25 percent of his time was spent with patients, and then another 25 percent of his time was dedicated to research. I can’t remember what he said about the other 50 percent of his time, but there wasn’t as much patient interaction as I would hope,” said King. “I want to be with patients 100 percent of my time. Personally, I’ve been a patient many times and realize that most of my time was spent with a nurse.”
King plans to graduate from Capital in May 2023 and has already accepted an offer to join the critical care nurse residency program at The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at The Ohio State University.
In September, she will play in the 2023 World Deaf Championship in Malaysia as a member of the U.S. Deaf Soccer Women’s National Team.
To learn more about the U.S. Deaf Soccer Women’s National Team, visit https://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2023/01/us-deaf-national-teams-kick-off-2023-under-us-soccer-supervision.
To learn more about nursing at Capital, visit https://www.capital.edu/academics/majors-and-minors/nursing/.
To learn more about Casey King, visit https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/OHOOD/bulletins/3045419.