EAST PRAIRIE, MO (KFVS) - Challenges in our lives have a way of making us stronger.
For East Prairie discus thrower Mason Tidwell, being born deaf hasn't stopped him from excelling in the sport he loves.
"Well, one of the great things about Mason is he doesn't maybe focus on what you would call an impairment," East Prairie track coach Chad Jamerson said. "Mason shows up every day with his lunch pail mentality, he works hard, he does everything, I mean he's a joy to coach. The kids love being around him, he's got a great attitude, and when you put all those things together, it really makes an exceptional athlete and an exceptional kid."
Tidwell has cochlear implants in both ears, which provide some semblance of sound, but he is able to read lips and can use sign language to communicate.
He first came to throw discus in junior high, where he was undefeated, and is now one of the top discus and shot put throwers in the state.
He took second at the Eva Hinshaw track meet on April 2 in the discus and the shot put as well.
Despite his impairment, Mason said he likes throwing discus and shot put because his coaches have trained him and taught him a lot.
His coaches and teammates say he's a hard worker and really inspires them to work harder and get better every day.