Acing the deaflympics
October 7, 2016
The 6-foot-5 17-year-old junior by the name of Ethan Bell is already tearing apart the Deaflympic scene and might become an Olympian, according to Marcus Robinson, the assistant coach of the USA Deaflympic volleyball team. This is the first men’s team USA has had in 11 years.
“2001 and 2005 were the last times we had a men’s team until now, so we are pretty much starting from scratch,” Robinson said. “Ethan is one of our main players. The good and part is that he has so much high competitive level volleyball left in him.”
According to Ethan this is the highest level of volleyball he has ever played at, and it has forced him to sharpen his skills. He said it has also allowed him to meet highly skilled and experienced players.
“It was cool because I got to meet a bunch of people from different countries who were on the Olympic team for their country,” Ethan said. “They gave me some helpful tips.”
Ethan’s brother Harry, sophomore, often supports Ethan’s games from the sidelines. Harry said he loved the whole experience and found the differences between regular and Deaflympic volleyball fascinating.
“Very few of the players on the team could talk, so all you could hear was the sound of the ball,” Harry said. “It was cool watching players at such a high level playing, and seeing Ethan playing with them.”
Harry, like his older brother, is not only a volleyball player but is also partially deaf. However, Harry said the possibility of a Deaflympic brother duo was impossible.
“I would have loved to try out for the Deaflympic, team but I’m not hearing impaired enough,” Harry said. “But, if I can make varsity it will be the first time me and Ethan have played on the same team before. It would be interesting to say the least.”
While Harry will never play on the Deaflympic stage, he said he still looks up to his older brother as his career has just begun. Robinson thinks he has found the perfect mentor to help Ethan grow into his full potential.
“We paired Ethan up with another teammate named Eric, who is a seasoned player,” Robinson said. “Eric has taken Bell under his wing, helping him with workouts and improving [his skills].”
Robinson said Ethan is already one of the Deaflympic team’s top stars. According to Robinson, Ethan could easily become an Olympic level athlete if he is willing to put in the necessary work.
“[Ethan] is only 17 years old,” Robinson said. “He is holding his own and the exciting part is this is just the beginning for him.”