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Alix Makes a Splash

Updated: Friday, February 21 2014, 01:55 PM CST

It's cold...especially for a Texan. It's early...especially for a teenager. But McNeil High School sophomore Alix Gavin does not need ideal conditions to perform.

"Excuses are really not part of her vocabulary," exclaims McNeil head swimming and diving coach Johnny Foss.

"She'll be the one that will be swimming 100 percent every time," said Kate Shomper, a junior on the McNeil swim team.

Alix does not want to hear your excuses. For the early part of her life, she couldn't hear anything.

"I wasn't turning my head at every loud noise so [my mother] wanted to get it checked out," Gavin explained. "She did, and I was 100 percent deaf."

Because her inner ear is not formed correctly, Gavin was born with severe and profound hearing loss.

"There's nothing I can do to change it," Alix admits.

When she was five, Alix received her first electronic implant. Her second came at the age of 10. With both implants on, Gavin still hears less than 40 percent of all sound. But the device is not waterproof.

So in the pool, Alix hears nothing.

But she sure makes a lot of noise.

After competing in the 2013 summer Deaflympics - last month, Gavin represented Team USA in the Deaf International Swimming Championships. At the event, Alix won six medals and was voted Youth Swimmer of the Meet.

"Deafness does not need to hold me back." Alix said. "I want to be an inspiration to all those other deaf people think they cannot do what they really like to do."

"She's just that example," admitted Coach Foss. "Whatever you have going on in your life: whine a little less, work a little harder. She's just a good example for the rest of us."

Even when it's not cold, or not early, training can me monotonous

"We swim all the time," explained Shomper. "Swimming is the same. You look at the bottom of the pool."

But even when the McNeil Mavericks are looking down in the water, they've got someone to look-up to in the next lane.

by Adam Winkler
Alix Makes a Splash

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Scores & Schedules

December 28, 2014 08:05 GMT

Latest scores; Upcoming games


Saturday's Games

Toronto 110, L.A. Clippers 98

Washington 101, Boston 88

Orlando 102, Charlotte 94

Memphis 103, Miami 95

Chicago 107, New Orleans 100

Indiana 110, Brooklyn 85

Atlanta 90, Milwaukee 85

Utah 88, Philadelphia 71

Sacramento 135, New York 129, OT

Golden State 110, Minnesota 97

Sunday's Games

Detroit at Cleveland, 4:30 p.m.

Houston at San Antonio, 7 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Dallas, 7:30 p.m.

New York at Portland, 9 p.m.

Toronto at Denver, 9 p.m.

Phoenix at L.A. Lakers, 9:30 p.m.


Saturday's Games

Military Bowl at Annapolis, Md.

Virginia Tech 33, Cincinnati 17

Sun Bowl at El Paso, Texas

Arizona State 36, Duke 31

Independence Bowl at Shreveport, La.

South Carolina 24, Miami 21

Pinstripe Bowl at Bronx, N.Y.

Penn State 31, Boston College 30, OT

Holiday Bowl at San Diego

Southern California 45, Nebraska 42


No games scheduled


Saturday's Games

( 1) Kentucky 58, ( 4) Louisville 50

( 8) Gonzaga 87, BYU 80

(15) Maryland 72, Oakland 56

(20) North Carolina 89, UAB 58

(21) Ohio St. 100, Wright St. 55

(24) Colorado St. 58, New Mexico St. 57, OT

Sunday's Games

( 6) Wisconsin vs. Buffalo, 8 p.m.

(13) Washington vs. Stony Brook, 8 p.m.

(17) St. John's vs. Tulane, Noon

(23) Northern Iowa vs. South Dakota State, 3 p.m.


Saturday's Games

Buffalo 4, N.Y. Islanders 3, SO

Arizona 2, Anaheim 1, SO

Detroit 3, Ottawa 2, OT

Tampa Bay 2, Carolina 1

N.Y. Rangers 3, New Jersey 1

Columbus 6, Boston 2

Winnipeg 4, Minnesota 3, OT

Washington 3, Pittsburgh 0

Dallas 4, St. Louis 3

Nashville 4, Philadelphia 1

Chicago 5, Colorado 2

Calgary 4, Edmonton 1

Los Angeles 3, San Jose 1

Sunday's Games

Toronto at Florida, 5 p.m.

Vancouver at Anaheim, 8 p.m.


Saturday's Game

( 2) UConn 96, SMU 45



No games scheduled

Sunday's Games

Indianapolis at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m.

San Diego at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

Cleveland at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

Dallas at Washington, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Jets at Miami, 1 p.m.

Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m.

Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Arizona at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.

St. Louis at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.

Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m.

Detroit at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m.

Carolina at Atlanta, 4:25 p.m.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.

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