Young Deaf Girl To Sign Anthem At Game

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As a tribute to her deceased mother, a deaf 12-year-old girl will sign the national anthem in American Sign Language before a Jan. 8 college football game in Atlanta, Georgia.

With an interpreter, Carly Ortega will sign The Star-Spangled Banner while the Zac Brown Band performs it before the Georgia Bulldogs play against Alabama's Crimson Tide for the national title, reports WSB-TV.

"I’m going to be nervous and pretty scared," the 12-year-old commented.

Her father is reportedly helping her practice.

"He tells me don’t worry about other people, just focus on the song and think about your mom," said Carly.

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Once game officials asked the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf for a student, administrators knew Carly would be ideal.

Only two days before Georgia won their spot in the playoff, Carly's mother, Georgia Bulldogs fan Daniella Osborn-King, died from cancer.

Carly's mother was reportedly such a diehard Bulldogs fan, she owned a pet American bulldog. Even at her funeral, hundreds wore Bulldogs gear in Daniella's honor.

"My house is full of UGA stuff, blankets, pictures, all kinds of stuff," Carly said. "I want to [sign the anthem] in memory of my mom."

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The local community says they are thrilled for the family.

"They are an incredible family [who] attended our church for years," commented one woman who knows the family on an Atlanta Area School for the Deaf's Facebook post about Carly. "Her mother Daniella would sign for her deaf family members mother, father, sister. What an honor for this young lady to honor her mother in such a special way."

Many also posted comments wishing Carly well on social media.

"Carly, I'm so proud of you!" wrote one person. "What a touching and beautiful way to honor your mother! You make AASD proud!"

"We are so proud of you Carly, You are a great inspiration to London," wrote another. "She says You're Awesome!"

Carly is not the first deaf person to move the nation after signing her way through a song.

In September 2017, Mandy Harvey, 29, wowed judges and the audience after she sang and signed her original composition "Release Me" as a contestant on America's Got Talent, reports Metro.

The performance was such a hit, even judge Simon Cowell was moved.

"That was incredible," Cowell told her. "The vocal, the song, the delivery, the performance was about as good as I’ve ever seen or heard on one of these shows. It was honestly breathtaking."

"This reminds me of the first time I ever heard Adele sing, and I remember thinking, 'This girl is gonna be a star.' And that’s exactly how I just felt," he added.

Sources: WSB-TV, Atlanta Area School For The Deaf/Facebook, Metro / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: ChrisEngelsma/Wikimedia Commons, Brian Ussery/Wikimedia Commons

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