Matthew Klotz Smashes Deaf World Record in 200 Back


LSU‘s Matthew Klotz has just broken the deaf world record in the 200 backstroke in prelims at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha.

Klotz swam a 2:02.54, taking off almost a full second from his previous best and the old deaf WR of 2:03.50. That 2:03 was done just under two weeks ago in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the Tiger Aquatics Summer Classic.

Earlier this week, Klotz swam a 56.10 in the 100 back, just .05 off of his deaf WR of 56.06 from the same meet he swam the 2:03 at (the Tiger Aquatics Summer Classic).

Klotz was very close to qualifying for these Olympic Trials in a third event, the 50 free. His time of 23.46 from the Tiger Aquatics Summer Classic was just .17 from matching the qualifying standard for Omaha.

Klotz’s time of 2:02.54 earned him a tie for 35th, which is stronger than his 100 back finish of 41st place.

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Captain Awesome

Sorry if I offend anyone in anyway by this statement, but how does being deaf effect someone’s ability to swim? Just not sure how it requires separate classification from the general swimming population.

Lsu fan

Well one thing I know that could separate him is that he has to turn his head towards the starter and leave once he sees the flash rather than sound


I completely agree with you. In fact the human brain responds quicker to visual stimulus than auditory. So having a visual que to start like a flash of light shouldn’t impair their reaction time


He also isn’t completely deaf. He has a hearing aid and can hold a conversation.


What a bitter world we live in.


A deaf person can’t wear their hearing aids in the water, Maverick, making for a silent world in the water. A swimmer with functional hearing has the benefit of all the auditory cues, and allows them to keep their head down before entering the water. This places Matthew at a disadvantage.


Still Deaf…Uh, Hello!!!

Captain Awesome

Not trying to take away from the achievement from my above statement, congratulations to Matthew.


From what I understand it is more of a learning and communication issue more than anything physical. It can be very hard for a coach to communicate with their athlete and get their points across.

A lifelong hard of hearing swimmer

Maybe you can relate if: Have ever had your ears stopped up during practice. Found it hard to hear what the coach is saying from across the pool. Have the coach give next set while facing away from you. Have been in a swim meet without a strobe light. Have you imagined what it’s like to have your coach give stroke instruction without signing or obviously without your hearing aids? Also Captain Awesome, please note that Matthew wasn’t in a separate classification. He was placed in this meet because of his times, not his hearing loss.The only reason that this is newsworthy is because of the inspiration and motivation now given to deaf/hard of hearing swimmers, families and coaches who… Read more »

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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