Champion - Alex Weis

Teacher • Deaflympian

From: Mankato, Minnesota

Tackling Hearing Loss and Achieving Greatness

As a Deaflympian, coach, and a physical education teacher, Alex knows what it's like to work hard and achieve great things in the face of a challenge.

At the age of two, Alex's mom fought for him to get a hearing test after his doctor insisted he simply had an ear infection. Due to her strong-willed advocacy, it was discovered that Alex has severe hearing loss and he was fit with hearing aids soon after.

Since that time, Alex has never slowed down. He was on the track and field team for Southwest Minnesota State University and has participated in the Deaflympics as a coach and a member of Team USA Track and Field. Today, he shares his passion for being active with future generations as a physical education teacher. He is also the president and founder of the American Sign Language Club, and is involved in a deaf slow-pitch softball team.

Through it all, spreading awareness about hearing loss is at the heart of what he does.

Why Hearing Matters

Alex believes that using his hearing aids and being open about his hearing loss has allowed him to form better relationships. He says,

"There are days when I can't understand a word, but I advocate for myself and tell people that I'm struggling to understand and ask if we can talk in a quieter environment or speak a little louder. Being able to tell people that shows I care about them and that I want to be able to communicate with them."

Alex hopes that others realize what hearing better has done for him. A defining moment for him was when he accepted an award at his college graduation ceremony.

"At my graduation ceremony at Southwest Minnesota State University, I was recognized as the most outstanding senior," says Alex. "In that moment when I had to walk from the back row up to the stage in front of thousands of people, I believe every single person in that gymnasium recognized how hearing better made me into a stronger person."

Why Alex is a HearStrong Champion

Alex is a HearStrong Champion because he never backs down from a challenge and serves as an inspiration to people with and without hearing loss.

"I have proven over and over again—since elementary school that a hearing disability will not slow me down," he says. "I believe when people see that, it also inspires them to have faith that they can achieve their visions and goals."

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