Could there be a deaf coxswain with a hearing university rowing
team? During the early nineties, the women’s rowing team
had a deaf coxswain – Heidi Kressin, with the Washington State
University team. She had no rowing experience but was asked
to join the team only because a coxswain was needed.


She quickly had to learn the tricks of being a coxswain as
well as to pick up rowing language. The coxswain is the boss,
just like the quarterback in football. Her voice, while sounding
deaf, was understandable. It helped that she was only 5’2
and 105 lbs, the ideal weight of a coxswain, and she had
high school experience in cross country and track (both
sports she did not participate at the university).