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A family affair

July 23, 2010


Team Delaware’s David Hill blew away spectators as he took on over 500 pounds in the dead weight portion of the competition.

Photos and story by NaTasha Rollerson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Power lifter David Hill of Newark Delaware poses with his biggest fan in the stands, his mother Corrinne Pearson. David has been power lifting for four years in local competitions.

“David has Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (LKS) but, he has come so far in his speech that you can barely tell he has an intellectual disability” Says Corrinne.

LKS is a rare disorder that appears sometime during early childhood. A major affect of this disorder is the gradual or sudden loss of the ability to understand and use spoken language.

“David as a child could not even tell me he wanted a glass of water. People told me that I should look into David learning how to use sign language. One day David’s little sister Sara was going to touch an iron and David yelled No Sara Hot! That is when I knew he was capable of speaking and I refused to cripple my son” said Corrinne.

David started to develop his own language to communicate. His sister picked up on this language as well. Sara had to be sent to tutors to break the language she used to communicate with her brother and learn English. David saw his sister’s determination to learn how to speak and this is what motivated him to learn English.

David is now 26 years old and speaking very clearly. He is a gold medalist in tennis, basketball, bowling, and now powerlifting.

When David was asked what was the most challenging part about competing in the 2010 Special Olympics USA National games he said,

“The kilos were different, the squats were deeper, and it was heavy!!”

After the National Games David plans to continue power lifting with a personal trainer, performing in local meets in Delaware, and if it is possible he would love to compete in Worlds.

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