WLWT-TV: Deaf Cincinnati Teen Sets Her Eyes on Olympic Glory

Originally aired on WLWT-TV – February 13, 2018

It’s the time of year when kids around the country watch TV and dream of becoming an Olympic gold medalist.

One local teen is overcoming obstacles and trying to make those dreams a reality.

 Mykenzie Pfeiffer spends hours every week at American Eagles Gymnastics in Batavia.

“She’s a hardworking child. She gives it her all all the time,” said Mark Fahrnback, owner of the gym.

Her goal: Olympic gold.

That’s a big commitment for any 13-year-old, especially one who is deaf.

“Mykenzie was born with a birth defect, EVA, enlarged vestibular aqueduct, which causes her to have hearing loss. Then over one Christmas break, she got a viral infection and got sick, and it caused her to go deaf overnight,” said Robb Pfeiffer, Mykenzie’s dad.

Simple things like balancing on the beams and hearing music can be hard for Mykenzie.

“My coaches will clap when the music comes on, and then if we’re at a competition, they have to tell the judges that I’m deaf,” said Mykenzie, who attends the online Ohio Virtual Academy. Like most young gymnasts, she has big dreams and idolizes Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and Shawn Johnson.

“I really want to make it to the Olympics. I really want to go to the 2024 Olympics, which are in Paris,” said Mykenzie.

“We tell her anything is possible, you just have to work hard,” said Robb Pfeiffer.
That positivity radiates in all parts of Mykenzie’s life.

“If you’re disabled, don’t let that affect you because, you know what, you’re special! You’re everybody else. Everybody is the same person,” said Mykenzie.

To learn more about Ohio Virtual Academy, visit http://ohva.k12.com/.

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