Tonawanda News

June 7, 2013

North Tonawanda native headed to Deaflympics

By Joe Konze
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — There is a feeling of adrenaline that takes over Scott Farrell's body as he begins his early morning cardio workouts. A sensation that drives him and keeps him awake to complete the 50-60 minute workouts that illuminate his laptop each day, a passion that forces him to attack his workouts in the pool with motivation and enthusiasm.

Now, he is on the brink of completing a goal he set out to accomplish nine years ago: competing in a Deaflympic event.

Farrell, a North Tonawanda native and member of the Deaf Team USA swim team will compete in the 2013 Deaflympics, held from July 26-Aug. 4 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

In 2011, he participated in his first international competition claiming a silver and two bronze medals while setting two American records in the Deaf World Swimming Championships in Coimbra, Portugal.

This season at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Farrell was a part of a 800 freestyle relay team that broke a 29-year-old record on Feb. 22, adding to an already impressive resume.

"(I am) very excited to be part of the Deaf Team USA and proud to get a chance to represent not just my hometown but to represent the United States of America," Farrell said via email. "That is very thrilling for me to realize and that motivates me even more to train harder to do excellent for the Deaflympics." 

When Farrell was 8 years old, his future in swimming was unclear.

After one year of doing laps in the pool, he had quit, complaining that the practices were too hard. But in eighth grade, Farrell was required to take a wellness class, one of which happened to be swimming.

"My gym teacher, Mr. Adcock, asked my interpreter after my performances for the timed events such as 50 free, 50 fly, 50 back, etc etc," Farrell wrote. "He asked me if I swam for a HS swim team and I replied 'no'."

Since that fateful day, Farrell has trained nine years to compete at the highest level possible internationally.

With swimming being difficult and taxing on the body, he stays a head of the game, completing his cardio workouts in the morning and swimming at a fast pace in the evening.

"It is my first time doing this constantly for almost the whole summer," Farrell said. "I am confident that it will help me to improve my performances."

To help him reach his full potential of competing internationally for his country, a fundraiser will be held to help generate some of the funds necessarry for him to make the trip.

The fundraiser will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Sikora Post. There will be a huge basket raffle, and a 50/50 raffle has already raised $300.

"Here I am," Farrell said. "A successful deaf swimmer that has acheived a lot throughout his career and about to accomplish his ultimate dream; to compete in a Deaflympic event, something that I will never ever forget."

Supporters who donate will be recognized by the media, recieving their name on a banner.