The Morning Swim Show, May 3, 2012: Marcus Titus Discusses Need for Hand Signals for Deaf Swimmers

PHOENIX, Arizona, May 3. ON today's edition of The Morning Swim Show Marcus Titus talks about his campaign to have hand signals instituted at the U.S. Olympic Trials for deaf swimmers.

Titus, who is legally deaf, talks about the necessity of having hand signals for deaf swimmers at the start of races, and how it could impact him in races where precious tenths of a second count. He also talks about training with the University of Arizona postrgraduate team and his preparation for Trials. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.

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Morning Swim Show Transcripts
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Peter Busch: Welcome to the Morning Swim Show for Thursday, May 3rd, 2012. I am your host Peter Busch. In the FINIS Monitor today we will talk to Marcus Titus. He is one of the best breaststrokers in America right now. He has a legitimate chance of making the Olympic team in the 100 breaststroke, but if he makes the Olympics there can be an issue. Marcus is legally deaf, and so far his pleas for officials to use hand signals in the start have gone unanswered. Marcus joins us right now in the FINIS Monitor to talk about it from Tucson, Arizona. Hey Marcus, welcome to the Morning Swim Show, how are you?

Marcus Titus: I am doing good, thank you, how are you?

Peter Busch: Good. I just want to tell people you are able to hear us through your hearing aid and we are glad to have you on, so let's talk about this issue with using hand signals at the start. Tell us how important that is for you.

Marcus Titus: Well it is important for me because I can't hear without my hearing aid, so I am without my hearing aids and I have to rely on the officials when the hand signal's starting so to be able to get on the block and prepare myself before the strobe light goes off.

Peter Busch: Now are there specific signals you know that they use? Do they have to be able to sign or can they just give a certain hand motion that you understand to be you know for the start?

Marcus Titus: It is really simple two hand signal procedure is when you get on the block it's hand straight up in the air and then when you take your mark on the block you put your hand on the side and then right after that I just look at the light, the strobe light and I am ready.

Peter Busch: Okay so without hand signals what are you looking for the strobe light?

Marcus Titus: Without the hand signal?

Peter Busch: Yes.

Marcus Titus: I would have to rely on other swimmer because I don't know what they are doing, I can't hear anything so if the swimmer get on the block then I get up because of what they do, so it is like a delay of starting everything.

Peter Busch: Got it. And if you have to rely on other swimmers naturally they are going to get a head start on you because you reacting to them.

Marcus Titus: Yes, because when they are ready to take your mark, I am the last person to take my mark and I don't know how soon will they start the timer off and maybe I will be late, so it just depends on everything, how it goes.

Peter Busch: Okay so as far as I understand this has been worked out for Olympic Trials that they will have hand signals, but so far no word on whether or not they would do that at the actual Olympics if you make the team, correct?

Marcus Titus: Correct. Right.

Peter Busch: And to get to this point you had to make a special plea to USA Swimming correct?

Marcus Titus: Yes.

Peter Busch: Okay.

Marcus Titus: Go ahead.

Peter Busch: No you go ahead please.

Marcus Titus: I just I was happy they were making an agreement with the hand signal situation. The only concern is that whether they do it right, they make no mistakes so my concern is that part and I want to be able to focus on my race and not be concerned about whether they do it right or wrong while other hearing swimmers are focusing on their race while I have two things to worry about.

Peter Busch: Yeah and like I said it is going to be a very close race for that 100 breast stroke.

Marcus Titus: Yeah.

Peter Busch: You know it is just weird to think that you know it could come down to a tenth or two and that would be the difference and that is what you really needed to have a faster reaction time. First of all will you swim the 200 at trials also or just the 100?

Marcus Titus: Yes, I will be swimming the 200 breast stroke too.

Peter Busch: Is it fair to say though you have better chance is in the 100?

Marcus Titus: Yes, I have a better chance in the 100 breaststroke.

Peter Busch: Good. How is training going on? I know it has been kind of tumultuous down at Arizona you know with new coaching changes and everything?

Marcus Titus: I mean it is going well. Good. I mean for me the training, I'm feeling confident you know, positive so I feel like my training is really going right now so I am looking forward to trials soon in June.

Peter Busch: Are you still in school?

Marcus Titus: No, I graduated two years ago so I am just training right now.

Peter Busch: What do you want to do when you are done with swimming?

Marc usTitus: I don't know yet. You know, I am going to see what happens first in trials and see what happens from there.

Peter Busch: Well Marcus you are a great story. Thank you so much for joining us. Good luck this summer at trials.

Marc Titus: Right, thank you Peter.

Peter Busch: All right that is Marcus Titus joining us in the FINIS Monitor today from Tucson and that is it for today's show. I am Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.

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