OC grad and former DHH student to sign the national anthem before Super Bowl LIV

A graduate of University High School who was enrolled in OCDE’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing program has been tapped to deliver an American Sign Language rendition of the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl.

Christine Sun Kim
Christine Sun Kim, who graduated from University High School in 1998, will perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl alongside Demi Lovato. (Photo by Ériver Hijano)

Christine Sun Kim, who attended Irvine’s Uni High from 1994 to 1998, is a Berlin-based artist who uses drawing, performance and video to visualize and explore sounds in society. On Sunday, she’ll use her skills to interpret “The Star-Spangled Banner” alongside singer Demi Lovato before the kickoff.

Super Bowl LIV, featuring the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, is expected to draw an audience of about 100 million viewers.

In an interview with the website Artnet News, Kim explained that the National Football League works with the National Association of the Deaf to make sure the signing community is represented during the anthem. Candidates are asked to submit audition videos to help evaluate their style, expression level and delivery.

“Never in my life would I have imagined doing this,” she told writer Zachary Small. “I’m already having nightmares about forgetting the lyrics while performing. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever been to an NFL game, but I grew up watching my Korean American relatives rooting for their teams on TV, especially the 49ers.”

The interdisciplinary artist, who was featured last year in the New York Times and led a 2015 Ted Talk, goes on to talk about her work, how she was selected, and the connection between art and sports.

The full Q&A is worth a read, and you can find it on the Artnet News website.