Getting off to a quick start can be a challenge when you can’t hear the starter’s whistle, but a group of track stars from the Rocky Mountain Deaf School are up for the challenge.
“It doesn’t matter if you're deaf or if you’re in a wheelchair,” Lily told Denver7. “You can do anything.”
The big goal for the team this year: Completing the Bolder Boulder.
“I tell them not to worry about their time and just have a good time,” explained Coach John Velando.
He knows a thing or two about the Memorial Day race. He’s run in every Bolder Boulder since 1979.
“This will be my 38th Bolder Boulder,” John told Denver7. “And I wanted to do something for the school and I thought the Bolder Boulder would be a great opportunity to learn how to run and enjoy running in races.”
John started the afterschool track program at Rocky Mountain Deaf School in 2015. This year there are five kids signed up to be a part of the team.
“I thought maybe they could get the experience of running in a track meet and gaining some strength and doing the long jump and the shot put and just running in general,” the coach said.
The challenges for some of the runners are more than just hearing. Noal competes in the 1600 and 800 meter races using his wheelchair.
“I can compete against with other people that are not in wheelchairs about the same speed,” he told Denver7. “It makes me feel less different.”
Evan competes alongside him.
“My teammates are very motivated, I’m proud that they never give up.”
With every race and every jump the team gains a little more confidence.
“I did alright,” Sheree said after her long jump. “I wouldn’t say I did too good, but I did alright.”
Confidence Coach John Velando plans to take to the streets of Boulder and beyond.
“I want to continue to build on this for the next year,” he said.