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Stan Mikita

Stan Mikita Hockey School For The Hearing Impaired

In 1974, Mikita was approached by Chicago businessman Irv Tiahnybik in a restaurant one night and convinced the hockey star to help teach hearing impaired children how to play hockey. Tiahnybik's young son Lex had played the game for several years, but had recently had a bad experience with a coach who did not want to deal with the young deaf player. Together they founded the American Impaired Hearing Association for deaf and hard of hearing youth, and its related Stan Mikita Hockey School for the Hearing Impaired. The school held an annual summer camp to teach the game to young deaf players, and give them a way to relate to the hearing world. At first, Mikita was unsure how to deal with his students because he had no experience with the hearing impaired. Mikita told Brad Herzog of the Sports Illustrated, that when he moved to Canada and knew no English, "I could hear the words, but I had no idea what they meant. Although I wasn't shut out by the hearing world, I was basically being shut out by my peers." Mikita and a host of other NHL professionals, college coaches and players, and others have taught the young hockey players how to play the game and host a tournament every summer in Chicago. Though the camp's focus is hockey, it is also about supporting its young players by providing hearing aids, speech therapies, counseling, and financial support for families. By 1995, over 80 campers were there; in 1997, over 100. The annual camp has lead to the formation of the U.S. National Deaf Hockey Team which won the silver medal at the Winter Games for the Deaf in 1991, gold in 1995, and silver in 1999.

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Famous Sports StarsHockeyStan Mikita Biography - Early Years, Introduction To Hockey, Chronology, Joined The Blackhawks, Won Stanley Cup, Used Curved Blade - SELECTED WRITINGS BY MIKITA: