Deaf swimmer takes to Facebook for a cause

Deaf swimmer takes to Facebook for a cause

CREATED Apr. 20, 2012

 Reporter: Jake Knapp

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9 TV) -- Marcus Titus wants to compete in the Olympics, but he also wants a fair shot. That's why the former Wildcat, who is deaf, took to Facebook for action.

"I'm not trying to get on bad terms with USA Swimming, but I'm trying to make a change."

As it stands, every race in national and international competition starts with an auditory signal. Due to his hearing impairment, Titus uses hand signals of officials to indicate the start of a race.

Before Titus created his Facebook page, USA Swimming did not have a hand signal system in place for hearing impaired athletes at the upcoming U.S. Olympic trials. Less than 24 hours later, the outpouring of support could not be ignored. Especially by former UA swimming coach Frank Busch, who is now the Director of the U.S. National Team.

When asked how much he was behind Titus' cause, Busch said, "100 percent. After contacting the head referee for the trials, we have made sure that the hand signals be implemented at the trials."

The support extends to Titus' fellow swimmers. "I haven't met or heard of one person not completely siding with Marcus on this, even all the way through the administration of USA Swimming," said Olympic medalist Matt Grevers.

It's a small victory for Titus, who still has a bigger goal in mind.

"That's great. They're starting to become more open-minded, but I feel like it's not good enough."

Titus wants to see his proposal become a permanent change at all levels of competition. he certainly has the right people in his corner.

"If Marcus makes the team, I'm going to champion his cause to FINA at the international level, so they're used in London," Busch said.

"I'm not just doing this for myself, but for other deaf athletes, too," says Titus. "And I just want a fair game, really."

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