The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team aren’t the only ones winning championships on an international level. Plainville’s Krystyna Miller brought home some hardware this month with the U.S. Deaf Soccer Women’s National Team.
“She was the best soccer player on the team, one of the best soccer players that we had,” said Plainville High School athletic director Chris Farrell. “It even led to the point that she was able to go and do tennis and excel in tennis because she was that good of an athlete.”
This past month, she took her skills from Connecticut to Brazil to compete with the USDWNT in the Deaflympics. They beat Poland for the gold.
“Everybody was celebrating,” said Miller. “I’m so happy and proud of this team.”
Miller had wanted to be on that team since she read about it in a book when she was little. This year, a lifelong goal realized thanks to her support system in Plainville.
Farrell said Miller’s basketball team learned many of their playcalls in sign language and even held a practice with earplugs to learn what it’s like for Miller.
“After everybody comes to me, ‘oh yeah, I can finally understand,” said Miller, who has about 70 percent hearing loss, but wears cochlear implants, which help a bit.
For those in the stands at Plainville High School games, unless they know Miller, they’d never know she was born deaf.
“No one really understood that she was actually deaf and then when we actually told them how surprised and shocked they were,” said Farrell. “Especially with all the goals she scored..there was nothing they could do to stop her.”
Miller said sometimes, even the whistle couldn’t get in her way.
“I couldn’t hear the whistle. I would just keep going and score the goal,” said Miller. “I was ready to cheer for the team and everybody is looking at me like ‘yeah you’re offsides.”
Miller tells those kinds of stories with a smile. Now, she’s used to playing with an interpreter and referees who use flags instead of whistles.
“We don’t have to use hearing aids or cochlear implants so we just took it off, that was really cool,” said Miller.
The 20-year-old just finished her freshman year at RIT and said she’s looking forward to the 2023 Deaflympics.