COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The 2023 World Deaf Football Championships is starting next week in Malaysia and a local nurse is representing Team USA.

Casey King is a nurse at The James and when she isn’t working night shifts, she can be found on the soccer field getting ready for the upcoming World Deaf Football Championships.

She has been deaf her whole life, but as a nurse and a professional soccer player, it clearly hasn’t slowed her down.

King has been on the Deaf National Team since she was 14, but she’s played with both deaf and hearing teammates.

“There’s definitely a difference in just the means of communication,” King said. “Deaf people use more gestures, pointing where the ball is going or whatever. Hearing people obviously can be able to hear if someone says give me the ball, most of the time you can hear where that’s coming from.”

To be eligible for the Deaf National Team, players must have a hearing loss of at least 55 decibels. During the World Deaf Championships, King said players cannot wear any kind of cochlear implant or hearing aid.

King said deaf players rely on instincts a lot of the time.

“But obviously we have to have really good spatial and situational awareness,” King said. “That’s a big part of being a deaf soccer player is keep your head up, look around.”

King says she loves playing on a team full of deaf women because of the camaraderie it brings, and she is very excited for the upcoming tournament.

“It’s a different environment too because we’re all part of the same thing instead of being the only deaf person on the team,” King said. “We learn a lot of different ways to adapt to play with every different kind of player.”

King and her teammates will be leaving for the World Deaf Football Championships soon. It’s happening Sept. 20 through Oct. 8 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The U.S. team will be looking to win its seventh world title.