The crowd is cheering as Jordan Garr breaks the Missouri state record in shot put. However, as his family and friends are yelling in excitement, he can hear absolutely nothing. Jordan was born completely deaf in both ears. Thanks to his hearing implant, he is able to hear pretty well. The second he takes it out to throw, it is silent once again.
Garr doesn’t let his hearing keep him from playing the game, but his hearing loss does hold him back from enjoying small victories. “Not being able to hear the conversation and what the hell is going on is hard,” Garr said “When I can’t hear people cheering at the competitions, I try not to let it bother me. With track and field, it is nice because I don’t need to be able to hear in order to throw.”
Jordan Garr is a member of Missouri Western’s track and field team where he throws shot put, discus and is currently learning how to throw hammer. Jordan has had an exceptional throwing career so far, as he has won state for shot put, broke the state record in shot put, been 12 times all conference, 12 times all-district, and the list goes on and on.
Jordans Garr’s throwing career started back in middle school when his first throwing coach, Dan McCamy, took him under his wing.
“The things he taught me helped me later on in my career,” Garr said. “If I had not had a good coach to start off with, then I probably never would have progressed this well.”
Dan McCamy had first met Jordan years earlier when he had babysat him. McCamy was one of the first people to notice that Jordan had a hearing disability.
“Building on our prior relationship, we were able to form a great bond in the field events,” McCamy said. “Even in middle school, Jordan showed a commitment to perfecting his craft in the shot and discus.”
McCamy explained how Jordan was in “the zone” in the throwing ring because he was in control over the outcome and no barriers stood in his way. “It was his happy place,” McCamy said. “He dominated in that ring.”
As Jordan moved on to high school, he continued to stay in contact with McCamy. However, now his coaches were about to change.
“Back in high school I had to fight and teach myself how to throw because I couldn’t find any coaches that were committed, until I found Danny Butterfield,” Garr said. “He put a lot of effort into helping me, and we continue to have a really strong relationship today.”
Jordan first caught Butterfield’s attention on the field while helping his younger sister practice. Butterfield approached him and offered to help Jordan in his throwing career as he saw a lot of potential in him.
“My first few meets I wasn’t even good enough to place in small meets yet, and that’s where coach Butterfield came in,” Garr said. “I worked with him maybe 10 hours a week, and he got me to throw over 14-15 feet in less than a year. After that, I started to get really excited about my future.”
Butterfield would go to meet up with Jordan for practice to find that Jordan had spent about an hour warming up before he had even got there, and then even after they were done with practice Jordan would continue practicing on his own after.
“Jordan going from throwing a 30 to a 60 from the time that I first met him to now is amazing,” Butterfield said. “I coach a lot of students who have made it to state championships. Jordan’s success should be accredited to his hard work, and I am so proud of him.”
Now that Jordan is throwing at the college level, he has once again come across a new coach.
“Coach Boellstorff is my college coach, and I feel like he is more of a friend than anything else,” Garr said. “He knows what he is doing and does his best to help me out, and I really appreciate him.”
For Jordan Garr, throwing is not just a sport, but a passion. Missouri Western throwing coach, Cody Boellstorff, had the opportunity to watch Garr train for nationals and was able to see his passion for the sport first hand.
“When he qualified for nationals I saw a huge shift in his attitude and work ethic,” Boellstorff said. “As a thrower it’s really hard to be consistent, and he was able to keep his PR up. There is the level of dedication that a serious athlete takes when preparing for competition, and then there is what Jordan was doing to prepare for nationals. He was going above and beyond in preparation.”
Jordan Garr spends the majority of his days out on the field practicing. Through practice and competitions Garr is able to handle what life throws at him.
“Things can be hard in school and in life, and I basically feel like throwing is my escape,” Garr said. “I love the fierce competition because it all gets me feeling ya know? You can’t get much better unless you compete, and it has kept me excited to keep working hard.”
With competition season coming up once again, Jordan Garr is ready to continue doing what he loves and what makes him feel most free.