The Deaflympics (previously called World Games for the Deaf, and International Games for the Deaf) are an IOC-sanctioned event at which Deaf athletes compete at an elite level.

The Deaflympics are held every 4 years, and are the longest running multi-sport event excluding the Olympics themselves. The first games, held in Paris in 1924, were also the first ever international sporting event for athletes with a disability. The event has been held every four years since, apart from a break for World War II, and an additional event, the Deaflympic Winter Games, was added in 1949. At the first Games in Paris, 145 athletes from nine European nations took part. In 2005 the 20th Games were held in Melbourne, Australia, and according to the Deaflympics website, "more than 3,000 deaf athletes and officials from 75 nations" participated.

To qualify for the games, athletes must have a hearing loss of at least 55 db in their "better ear". Hearing aids, cochlear implants and the like are not allowed to be used in competition, to place all athletes on the same level. Other examples of ways the games vary from hearing competitions are the manner in which they are officiated. The football referees wave a flag instead of blowing a whistle. On the track, races are started by using a light flash, instead of a starter pistol.

The games have been organised by the Comité International des Sports des Sourds (CISS, "The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf") since the first event.

Names of the Games

Officially, the games were originally called the "International Games for the Deaf" from 1924 to 1965, but were sometimes referred to as the "International Silent Games". From 1966 to 1999 they were called the "World Games for the Deaf", and occasionally referred to as the "World Silent Games". From 2000, the games have been known by their current name "Deaflympics" (often mistakenly called the "Deaf Olympics").

Summer Games

  Summer Deaflympic Games
Year Games Host City Country
1924 Summer Deaflympics I Paris
1928 Summer Deaflympics II Amsterdam
1931 Summer Deaflympics III Nuremberg
1935 Summer Deaflympics IV London
1939 Summer Deaflympics V Stockholm
No games were held between 1940-1948 due to World War II
1949 Summer Deaflympics VI Copenhagen
1953 Summer Deaflympics VII Brussels
1957 Summer Deaflympics VIII Milan
1961 Summer Deaflympics IX Helsinki
1965 Summer Deaflympics X Washington
1969 Summer Deaflympics XI Belgrade
1973 Summer Deaflympics XII Malmö
1977 Summer Deaflympics XIII Bucharest
1981 Summer Deaflympics XIV Cologne
1985 Summer Deaflympics XV Los Angeles
1989 Summer Deaflympics XVI Christchurch
1993 Summer Deaflympics XVII Sofia
1997 Summer Deaflympics XVIII Copenhagen
2001 Summer Deaflympics XIX Rome
2005 Summer Deaflympics XX Melbourne
2009 Summer Deaflympics XXI Taipei (Taiwan)
2013 Summer Deaflympics XXII Athens

Winter Games

  Winter Deaflympic Games
Year Games Host City Country
1949 Winter Deaflympics I Seefeld
1953 Winter Deaflympics II Oslo
1955 Winter Deaflympics III Oberammergau
1959 Winter Deaflympics IV Montana-Vermala
1963 Winter Deaflympics V Are
1967 Winter Deaflympics VI Berchtesgaden
1971 Winter Deaflympics VII Adelboden
1975 Winter Deaflympics VIII Lake Placid, New York
1979 Winter Deaflympics IX Meribel
1983 Winter Deaflympics X Madonna di Campiglio
1987 Winter Deaflympics XI Oslo
1991 Winter Deaflympics XII Banff
1995 Winter Deaflympics XIII Ylläs
1999 Winter Deaflympics XIV Davos
2003 Winter Deaflympics XV Sundsvall
2007 Winter Deaflympics XVI Salt Lake City
2011 Winter Deaflympics XVII High Tatras

External links


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