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Truro teen helps Canada take title at overseas deaf volleyball event

Abbie Langille wasn’t sold on the idea of playing deaf volleyball, but after participating in the 80th Club Sportif des Sourds de Montpellier International Deaf Sports tournament in France recently and winning a gold medal, the 16-year-old from Truro is hooked.
Abbie Langille wasn’t sold on the idea of playing deaf volleyball, but after participating in the 80th Club Sportif des Sourds de Montpellier International Deaf Sports tournament in France recently and winning a gold medal, the 16-year-old from Truro is hooked. - SaltWire Network

TRURO, N.S. – A Truro athlete has returned from a week-long volleyball tournament overseas with a gold medal and a wealth of fond memories from the experience.

Abbie Langille recently took home a gold medal in women’s volleyball after her team competed for Canada at the 80th Club Sportif des Sourds de Montpellier International Deaf Sports tournament in France.

“There were so many emotions going on,” said Langille on winning the gold.

“I was excited, surprised, happy and a bunch of us were crying at one point. For a lot of us, this was the first time we played without hearing, so I was surprised we won.”

Langille, who was born deaf, uses Cochlear implants which send sound signals to the brain, allowing her to hear.

Like most players, she relies on her hearing when playing with the Truro Cougars Volleyball Club, but during the tournament, Langille couldn’t use her implants, making the competition more difficult. And a bit scary.

“At first, I really didn’t like it, I had never played without my CI’s,” she said.

“We really had to be aware of our surroundings. Usually, a player could just call out if they had the ball, but in this tournament, we couldn’t, so I really needed to rely on my eyes instead of my ears, which I wasn’t used to.

“After a couple of games though, it became fun and I really began to like it.”

During their down time, Langille, her mother and grandmother, and members of her team explored France, spending time in the Old Town area, relaxing at the beach and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.

While she met a lot of great people on her trip, creating new long-lasting friendships, she also faced some fierce competition during the tournament.

“A lot of the competition over there was strong,” she said.

“I was also the youngest player there. Everyone was between 20 and 40, but I’m only 16 so it was weird. Everyone was so much older, so I was just like a little baby in comparison.”

Since returning home, Langille is taking some time to relax, and is planning a trip to Toronto with two of her tournament teammates sometime this summer.

As for volleyball, she’s looking forward to next season and her next international tournament, which will be in Armenia in 2019.

“I’m planning on sticking with this, I really enjoyed it,” she said about competing in deaf volleyball.

“It was a nice experience and I met some great people through it. It would have never happened without the support of the community and my family, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to go on to the Deaflympics in 2021.”

cody.mceachern@trurodaily.com

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