Jarvis Johnson is gearing up to compete in the World Deaf Championships in Taiwan in July. He hopes to serve as an example in track and field and spread a positive message.

“You can do it. You can go. You can see. You can meet everyone”, he told ABC13.

Johnson noted the importance of expanding his horizons and competing at the highest level possible.

“I could stay in my own little area, but it’s so good to get out and learn from different people and meet different people,” he said, adding that competing in the 2028 Olympics is his ultimate goal.

Johnson has competed in the 400-meter hurdles — for which he just missed the NCAA Championships qualifier — and the triple jump. He previously won gold in three events as part of the 2023 state championships while attending Taylor High School in Austin.

“The feeling is good,” Johnson said about his wins. “It makes me want to keep consistent with trying and trying to win more.”

The athlete was enrolled as a freshman at Stephen F. Austin University this past year, where he served on the SFA Lumberjacks football team. Johnson is looking forward to next season and said he fell in love with the sport when he was just 5 years old.

He noted that his SFA teammates and coaches made him feel welcomed by learning sign language. 

“It’s kind of like the same culture, being deaf and hearing,” Johnson said. “It was really inspiring.”