10/06/2021 | 18:00 CEST | Phonak
Stäfa, Switzerland, June 9, 2021 – For many years, Phonak has supported young people with hearing loss in carrying out their sports or artistic projects. Emma Meesseman was therefore ideally suited to be the brand's ambassador as she realizes her dream: to participate in the Olympic Games.
On the eve of the European Championship to be held from June 17 to 27 in Strasbourg and the Tokyo Olympics from July 23 to August 8—for which the Belgian team has qualified for the first time in its history—Phonak is proud to count Emma Meesseman as an ambassador and to support her in her journey of excellence. At 28, Emma Meesseman, professional basketball player and member of the Belgian Cats (Belgian national team), has won almost everything: Four Euroleague titles with her Russian club UMMC Ekaterinburg, the American WNBA championship in 2019 with her Washington Mystics team (where she became the first European basketball player to receive the title of "Most Valued Player" ), not to mention the bronze medal at the European Championships in 2017 and a 4th place in the World Cup in 2018 with the Belgian national team.
However, the road has not been easy. Born with moderate hearing loss in both ears, Emma has worn hearing aids since she was a child. One may find it difficult to imagine a classic sports career under these conditions. Nevertheless, it is the will of this champion and the support of her family (her mother Sonja Tankrey, a former international basketball player) that will allow her to realize her dream and achieve all of her goals one by one.
Equipped with Phonak Audéo hearing aids, recharged for the day, she approaches games with serenity knowing that she will be able to hear her teammates on the court. Paradoxically, she even managed to use her hearing loss to her advantage. Indeed, she has become accustomed to observing her surroundings better and this visual attention gives her an advantage over other players. On the bench, her coaches adjusted practices to help her by doubling each game strategy with a sign to communicate optimally. A great help for her, but also for the entire team who cannot always hear the instructions well because of the ambient noise.
Phonak's encounter with the champion wasn’t the most typical either, as Emma initiated it. She wanted children and young adults with hearing loss to be a positive role model and to be able to communicate and talk about her disability by encouraging others to live their lives to the fullest.
Emma's approach, and this willingness to share, correspond to the values that Phonak promotes through its ambassadors. By becoming the brand's first ambassador in Belgium, Emma Meesseman can carry her message: “Do what you love to do. You don't have to stop because of your hearing challenge. I know many children and adults who are ashamed of it. They don't want to show it and don't dare to exercise or do anything else because they are afraid of reactions. I always think it's a shame when people give up on their dream because it is perfectly possible to achieve things in your life as a person with hearing loss."
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Headquartered near Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak, a member of the Sonova Group, was created in 1947 out of a passion for taking on the most difficult hearing challenges. Seventy years later, this passion remains. As the industry’s leading innovator, we offer the broadest portfolio of life-changing hearing solutions. From pediatric to profound hearing loss, we remain committed to creating hearing solutions that change people’s lives to thrive socially and emotionally. We believe in creating a world where ‘Life is on’ for everyone.
At Phonak, we believe that hearing well is essential to living life to the fullest. For more than 70 years, we have remained true to our mission by developing pioneering hearing solutions that change people’s lives to thrive socially and emotionally. Life is on.