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My Briogaid Story: Paul Thiergartner

Hi my name is Paul Thiergartner. I am a senior at Penn State, majoring in Accounting. Yes I am looking forward to graduate this May! I grew up in South Philadelphia on Snyder Ave then moved to Northeast Philadelphia when I was 10 years old. I was born deaf and raised by deaf parents. I go to Cincinnati every summer since I was born because I have family there. I always have wonderful times in Cincy. It is very hard to describe how amazing Cincinnati is because there’s too many words to describe it. I started watching soccer when I was 12 years old. During summertime, I had nothing to watch on TV except 2010 World Cup (Germany vs Spain). I was like why not...then I fell in love with soccer. I went to the first FCC game against Valencia CF and I had a great time but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted more so I went the FCC vs Rowdies game on July 14 and I had a blast because FCC fans are awesome. I had asked Dekel on Twitter how I could meet the players and he told me to come behind the bench and I’d probably meet all of them. And I did! He was so nice to me. Also Emmanuel took my phone and took a selfie with me. It was an awesome night. I posted a video on Twitter for Emmanuel and Dekel, the FCC fans helped me get their attentions. I bought a ticket to see FCC in Harrisburg, PA. Before the game, FCC was warming up and Dekel recognized me. He waved at me! I was so happy that he saw me but I was sad because I thought Emmanuel didn’t notice me. After Emmanuel scored, he took the ball and pointed at me! He told me on Twitter that he would score for me and HE DID IT! it was awesome. After the game, I received a direct message from the Briogaid (Bailey Bastards) while I was on the way to home from the game. They invited me to come and hang out before FCC’s playoff game. I was kinda scared to meet them because I’ve been bullied by hearing people for being Deaf. I came to Cincy to meet them and see FCC playing against Nashville SC. I went to the HangOver Easy and saw the Briogaid. They opened their arms and treated me really well. They communicated with me through their phones. I joined marching with them before the game. They also made sure that I got to see FCC at the Bailey’s first row. The game was really crazy but FCC won! I had a blast. I’ll never forget that day. I am grateful to be part of this group. (Paul indicated that we could edit this piece for grammar and clarity, as American Sign Language is his first language and that may cause the blog to need some edits. However, we feel it speaks from his heart as it is written.)

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