Thursday, July 25, 2013

Getting to know... Deaflympics

Deaflympics symbol
The Deaflympics or Silent Games is one of the longest ongoing international multisports competitions--second only to the Olympics. In 1924, the first International Silent Games take place in Paris in 1924. By the 1980s, the International Olympic Committee tried to combine the Deaflympics with the Paralympics but the organizations could not come to terms on issues like interpreters. In 1988, the International Olympic Committee began funding the Paralympics as part of the Seoul Olympics. Meanwhile, no support from the international organization goes to deaf athletes in the Deaflympics. They must raise the funds themselves to participate. The Winter Deaflympics scheduled for Slovakia in 2011 had to be cancelled because of financial problems (read more here) but the summer games, underway now in Bulgaria, are in much better shape. The next winter games are set for Vancouver in 2015. To compete in the Deaflympics you must have a deafness of 55 decibels or greater. Although the Winter and Summer Deaflympics happen every four years, like the hearing Olympics, they take place in odd-numbered years.