Jim Vitale, Toronto
Sabina Lam must be congratulated for doing such a phenomenal job on the “No Hearing? No Problem” article on Jim Kyte (Backchecking, Nov. 15). The Hockey News should also be applauded for taking the time to feature special needs athletes on their pages (much-improved vibrant pages I might add).
I myself had the honor of being the coach of the national men’s deaflympic team and it was an experience I will never forget. As an educator, I have always had opportunities to work with special needs students, but never in this light and never on a world stage.
I was amazed at the caliber of the hockey. Some of these boys had pro experience and all played at least junior. It’s amazing when you start to look, how many deaf and hard of hearing players are currently in the game.
Guys like Steve Downey in Tampa, Gregg Sutch, who was just drafted by Buffalo, and a slew of others coming up the ranks.
In the article, Kyte hits the nail on the head when he comments on their commonality and shared social frustrations. It brings them together into tight-knit group of individuals who can accomplish anything together.
The deaf community is one of great passion and emotion, so there is no doubt players like Kyte can overcome enormous odds and compete at such a high level.
Thanks again for an excellent article and some exposure for a very hard working group of guys!