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Local Swimmer on a Motivated Mission

6:20 PM, Jul 24, 2013   |    comments
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NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y.- If water could talk, it would speak to Scott Farrell.

By land, a junior at RIT. By lane, a swimmer for team USA.

But go beneath the surface and you'll see, there's a lot more to it than him just swimming.

"One minute I'm sitting in the doctors office thinking 'ok we're gonna have tubes' and the next minute the audiologist said 'no your son's profoundly deaf'."

Those words were said to Scott's mom, Susanne Williams, when her son was 20 months old.  Scott is the first deaf member of his family, as far as he can look back.

Through sports, Scott found the freestyle. Through swimming, Scott found freedom.

"Swimming is something I can escape from life. There's no stress. There's no anything," Scott explains.

And, there's no sound either. Because underwater, no one can hear.

If school records for the 200 and 800-yard relays are any indication, Scott has no competitive disadvantage. But, his drive to win runs especially deep.

"I never let my hearing loss defeat me. I think it motivated me more to show that I can do it."

Scott and his younger brother Ryan were raised by his mother and stepfather.

"It doesn't matter the losses that you have. Hearing loss, there's other losses of dreams. You have to have dreams and fight through everything, and somehow you're always successful if you do so."

In 2011, Scott took home a silver and two bronze medals at the Deaf World Championships.

But, this summer, Scott will compete on an even bigger stage.

Swimming for Team USA at the Deaflympics in Bulgaria.

"I'm very happy and proud to be representing my country and my hometown as well."

"This is what he's been trying for for 9 years. To get to this point," Susanne reinforces.

Scott will also represent the deaf community and all the children he's helped mentor throughout his career.

"I feel very proud to be able to show them how and what I went through in life and expose to other deaf kids, the younger kids, to know that you may have lost your hearing, but you haven't lost other things and that you can do things. You can do it."

"You never want to trade places, but there's a reason for it. You make one change in one person's life, you know you made an impact in someone else's life," says Susanne, choking up."

Whether swimming for his country, his city or his community, Scott's impact goes beyond the the waters edge.

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