Deaf 13-year-old gymnast hopes to compete in 2020 Olympics

Nothing can stop Mykenzie Pfeiffer, a 13-year-old gymnast who lost her hearing as a toddler. She's still a backflippe...

Posted: Feb. 6, 2018 1:52 PM
Updated: Feb. 6, 2018 9:41 PM

Nothing can stop Mykenzie Pfeiffer, a 13-year-old gymnast who lost her hearing as a toddler. She's still a backflipper, a high-beam walker and a hopeful for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Scroll for more content...

"They're like, 'If you don't make it, don't be upset; you've worked really hard,'" she said. "But my mom is like, 'I guarantee you'll make it.'"

Pfeiffer was born with an enlarged vestibular aqueduct, or EVA, a deformity of the inner ear that allows fluid to flow back and forth instead of heading in one direction.

It's a frequent cause of childhood hearing loss, which can come on suddenly or decline over a long period of time.

"She got ill one weekend over Christmas break and had a viral infection," her father, Robert Pfeiffer, explained. "The pressure in her head caused her to go deaf overnight. There was nothing that could be done for it."

Mykenzie's next year was one of doctor's appointments, lip reading practice and preparation to receive the cochlear implants she now uses to hear in her day-to-day life. On the mat, however, she takes them out.

"I do it without hearing the music," she said. "My coach claps when the music comes on."

Article Comments

West Lafayette
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 70°
Kokomo
Few Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 74°
Rensselaer
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
Fowler
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 63°
Williamsport
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 72°
Crawfordsville
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 78°
Frankfort
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 78°
Delphi
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 70°
Chances for Weekend Showers and T-Storms.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Community Events