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Hannah Fitton ’14 won’t let Usher syndrome keep her out of pool or away from orchestra

By Tim O'Keeffe on February 19, 2014

Colgate senior co-captain Hannah Fitton has not once let Usher syndrome stand in the way of pursuing her dreams. The sociology and anthropology major is rounding out her final season swimming for the Division I Raiders.

The senior swimmer lives by a simple motto, swim fast, have fun. Fitton is a go-getter who not only spends her time in the pool, but also studied forensic anthropology in the Balkans as an Alumni Memorial Scholar and is a cellist with the Colgate University Orchestra. She has been playing the cello since she was in the fourth grade.

Fitton was diagnosed at age 13 with Usher syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that results in hearing loss and visual impairment. She uses music and her cello as a way to improve her hearing since the instruments provide many different sounds and vibrations.

In the pool, Fitton has been a four-year member of the women’s swimming and diving team and will be competing in her final Patriot League Championship Meet this week at Navy. Outside of Colgate she was a member of the Great Britain team at the 2009 Deaflympics and won three bronze medals and a silver. In 2011 she competed again for Great Britain and medaled at the Deaf World Championships.

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