Ryan Colaco was born profoundly deaf. Since he was a young boy, he had a dream of achieving excellence in Sports. His father Michael was an all around athlete that began encouraging him every step of the way and becoming closely involved in his progression. “My Dad is an amazing person.” Ryan commented. It was a positive influence that eventually led Ryan to become involved in various sport activities such as ice hockey, tennis, and soccer where in 1993 he joined Team Alberta soccer to compete at the Canada Summer Games in Kamloops, BC. It was no different with other sports, a year later Ryan was drafted and played with the Jr.A Calgary Canucks ice hockey team. Ryan was also very passionate and competitive for the game of Tennis. In 1995, International tournaments were calling his name. With all this hard work and striving to excel in every sport, there was much demand for his time, due to all this his academic potential began to suffer, he was given an option to focus in one direction. He chose Tennis.
Later on, this choice would prove to be a very good one.
Ryan entered his first tournament at the age of 12 competing against many great junior players who had years of experience on me. "They beat me, and I lost many matches”. But Ryan was determined; he was motivated to practice hard, to play more matches. Things quickly began to turn around. He entered the Alberta Junior B tournaments and later advanced to the Junior Open where he was ranked one of the top 5 players in Alberta for 4 consecutive years. He stayed one of the top 10 players in Canada for 2 yrs straight and began representing Canada at several international junior tournaments. Achieving the Top 10 goal in Canada was the accomplishment he has always dreamed of.
It took much time to reach that goal but with continued improvement, motivation and determination, anything was possible. At the age of 18, he was chosen to represent Team Canada Tennis for the World Deaf Games. He was the #1 ranked tennis player in Canada and qualified to represent the country 3 consecutive times at the Deaf Olympics in Copenhagen, Denmark (1997), Rome, Italy (2001) and Melbourne, Australia (2005). Ryan achieved his best international ranking, reaching Quarterfinals twice in Denmark and Rome (Top 8 in the world deaf ranking).
“One of the biggest dreams of my life was to see my tennis heroes play at these high-level tournaments and having the opportunity to "warm-up" with them”. Australian Open (Jan 2005) in Melbourne, Australia, a week before the final matches – his dream came true. He warmed-up with Nicholas Massu of Chile, Marino Zabelata of Argentina, Rainer Schultter of Germany, and some of the emerging junior players from Europe. In addition to some of these accomplishments, Ryan won the 75th Harman International Pro-AM Cup – a tournament for deaf players. It was his first appearance winning the Championship grand prize (5,000 Euros), defeating the perennial world no.1 player, German, Rolando Oliver Krieg in a long five set marathon 4-6, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 (4 hours and 15 min). After 10 years of competition, Krieg and Colaco were no doubt familiar with each other. Krieg was trained with tennis legend Boris Becker, and had solid credentials having professional status, winning all deaf tournaments around the world.I hope that I will be able to inspire other deaf children to explore their talents and make the most of their abilities. I believe that “where there is a will, there is a way” and that even though I am deaf, I can be just successful as anyone else with a hard training, good motivation, and good attitude.
I also had some questions for Ryan Dominic Colaco who you btw can find on my friend list @ facebook.
What does it take to become a pro?
I believe passion and love of the game of tennis will carry you to success with a hard training, good motivation and good attitude. It took me many years to become better tennis player by playing lots tennis training, meeting lots ppl and playing lots tennis tournaments. I met lots people and improved my confident. Losing match is good so I can learn from this match and try improve my next game.I believe that "where there is a will, there is a way" and that even though I am deaf, I dream be just as successful as anyone else. I pray to God and believe that he will make my dream come true.I would never forget - I played 2-3 hrs a day tennis with some good junior and adult players and plus do 1 or 11/2 hrs physically training (gym or fitness) everyday. It pay off. I had good result in junior nationals in Canada and played some international junior tournaments. From there I recieved few wildcards to play few Futures tournaments and lost lots matches but it was a great experience for me.
Can anyone do it? Or is Natural talent more important than hard work?
Yes anyone can do it if they are intrested to learn to become a tennis player. I believe passion and love of the game of tennis will carry you to success with a hard training, good motivation and good attitude. This movitavation will carry you on.
Which groundstrokes is your best? Forhand or Backhand?
I think my game is consistent and gets the balls and good placement. I think a good counterpuncher like nadal.
Name three of your favorite ATP players of all time?
My favorite players is Gustavo Kuerten, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.