Watching the Olympics on TV as a kid, David Smith needed closed captioning.
"I always knew I was different,'' he told NBC News in Los Angeles yesterday. "I knew I was unique. But my parents made sure I was in class with the average kids and played sports with every other kid."
Now he has helped his team pull off an upset against the hometown favorite, Brazil, ensuring the USA team's place in the quarter-finals.
At six-foot-seven, David doesn't wear his hearing aids when he plays because the sweat would cause them to malfunction, so he has to lip-read and watch his teammates' gestures.
On Saturday the team will play against France, which just beat Canada and Mexico in back-to-back matches.