Deaflympics History

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Paris, 1924

Mr. Eugène Rubens-Alcais, a deaf Frenchman, successfully attracted nine nations including six official national federations already in existence, to participate in the International Silent Games, a deaf version of the Olympic Games.

Read more1924
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Amsterdam, 1928

The increased number of nations and athletes participating in the second International Silent Games has reinforced Eugène Rubens-Alcais's dream of the multi-sport event becoming a quadrennial tradition where the deaf athletes from all over the world could come together to compete against each other just like its hearing counterpart, the Olympics.

Read more1928
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Nürnberg, 1931

Despite the deaf competitors from Poland being turned away at the borders at the beginning of Nazi rule, the 3rd International Silent Games experienced record-breaking numbers of participating nations and athletes.

Read more1931
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London, 1935

A World Records Commission was formed in 1933 at the 5th Congress in Copenhagen to monitor and list world records in athletics and swimming. It has since expanded to include shooting records.

Read more1935
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Stockholm, 1939

The Congress agreed to establish technical commissions to be responsible for each of the sporting branches. A new CISS flag with blue and green colors with its symbol that was designed by Mr. Chante in a design contest was inaugurated during the Opening Ceremony.

Read more1939
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Seefeld, 1949

During Congress in Paris 1946, after a 7 year hiatus from World War II, Congress proposed and approved the first Winter Games. Seefeld, Austria became the first country to host the inaugural International Winter Silent Games.

Read more1949
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Copenhagen, 1949

The International Silent Games made a big comeback despite a 10-year hiatus due to World War II. Almost 100 more athletes participated than the last one in 1939. Basketball and water polo were added for the first time into the Games.

Read more1949
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Oslo, 1953

Oslo, the capital and largest city of Norway was also the host city for the 1952 Winter Olympics. This was the last time that the Winter and Summer Games coincided in the same year.

Read more1953
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Brussels, 1953

Mr. Eugène Rubens-Alcais, the founding President of CISS retired as the President following the 12th Congress here after 29 years. This was the last time that the Winter and Summer Games coincided in the same year.

Read more1953
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Milan, 1957

For those who know Deaf history, in 1880, Milan was the site of the infamous international conference of deaf educators, the "Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf." It was during this conference that a declaration was made against using sign language in schools. For some, it may be like a twist to have 8th International Silent Games be hosted in Milan, almost 90 years later. The mission of the Games was to promote unity among the world-wide Deaf by having social, culture and language inclusion of the Deaf community. This mission was totally in opposition of the educators from the 1880 conference. They believed that the deaf should be integrated into the hearing community.

Read more1957
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Montana - Vermala, 1959

The 4th International Winter Silent Games was held in the southwest region of Switzerland that is internationally known as a ski resort and had hosted major competitions.

Read more1959
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Helsinki, 1961

Athletes from Canada and Turkey participated in the 9th Games for the first time. The highlighted athletes of the whole Games were two women, gymnast Svetlana Slepneva and sprinter Klavidia Pavlunina. They won five and three golds in their respective disciplines.

Read more1961
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Are, 1963

When no other country was willing to host the 5th International Winter Silent Games, Sweden offered to host at the last minute. The Congress immediately accepted Sweden’s application. The 5th International Winter Silent Games turned out brilliantly. The well-known ski coach, Bibbo Nordenskiöld acted as Games Secretary General in Åre. Prince Bertil was the Patronage of the Games.

Read more1963
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Washington DC, 1965

This is the first time that the International Silent Games was sited outside of Europe.

Read more1965
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Berchtesgaden, 1967

Berchtesgaden is a town in the German Bavarian Alps. Although Berchtesgaden's ski slopes are not among the largest in the Alps, they can easily accommodate everyone; from beginners to very competitive skiers and boarders.

Read more1967
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Belgrade, 1969

It was in Belgrade that the competition of diving made its final appearance. It had not been brought back into international deaf competition since then. It was one of the original sport disciplines to make quadrennial appearances in the Games consecutively since 1924.

Read more1969
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Adelboden, 1971

It continued to see a steady increase in the numbers of athletes and nations representatives participating at the Games.

Read more1971
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Malmö, 1973

The Americans earned a total of 82 medals at the Malmö Games, beating the Russians for the first time.

Read more1973
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Lake Placid, 1975

Lake Placid was proud to offer the first figure skating exhibition with 5 United States deaf ice skaters. Their names were: Adrienne America, Sharon Ann Dror, Donna Marianni, Cheryl Michalowski, and David Michalowski.

Read more1975
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Bucharest, 1977

This is the first time that the World Deaf Games was held in Eastern Europe. The need for strict control of hearing eligibility of competitors is recognized.

Read more1977
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Meribel, 1979

During the Congress held before the 9th World Winter Games, delegates voted to change the organization title, "International Committee of Silent Sports" to "Comite International des Sports des Sourds" (CISS).

Read more1979
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Köln, 1981

At the Congress, it was the first time that a woman, Mrs. Maria de Bendeguz of Venezuela was elected to the Executive Committee. CISS is the first international sports organization to have a woman elected in a highest committee.

Read more1981
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Madonna di Campiglio, 1983

At Congress, before the 10th World Winter Games for the Deaf, the delegates voted to forbid Deaf athletes from using hearing aids during competition. This emphasizes the motto, "Equal through Sports".

Read more1983
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Los Angeles, 1985

It was due to economic reasons, not political, that several Eastern Bloc countries including Russia withdrew at last minute from the 15th World Games for the Deaf.

Read more1985
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Oslo, 1987

Oslo was the first country to host the World Games for the Deaf for the second time.

Read more1987
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Christchurch, 1989

This was the first time the World Deaf Games was held in the Southern Hemisphere.

Read more1989
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Banff, 1991

The 12th World Winter Games for the Deaf was hosted in Banff, for the first time in Canada's history. The Canadian Organizing Committee was fortunate to have the world famous Banff Springs Hotel as the official headquarters. It was founded in 1888, a legendary 841 room "castle" in the heart of the world's most scenic Canadian Rockies.

Read more1991
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Sofia, 1993

The number of athletic participants of 1,679 in the Sofia games was a great leap, finally breaking the record that Köln had held since 1981. Also the record was broken for the highest number of nations represented in this Games: 52 nations from the previous record of 32 in 1977.

Read more1993
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Yllas, 1995

The Finnish Athletic Association of the Deaf was proud to host the 13th World Winter Games of the Deaf in the northernmost part of the hemisphere. No other Games have been held further north than this location.

Read more1995
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Copenhagen, 1997

The Games were hosted by the Danish Deaf Sports Association (DDI), founded in 1922. It was fitting because the DDI also had 75th anniversary celebration of its existence.

Read more1997
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Davos, 1999

The Swiss Deaf Sports Association was proud to host it's 3rd Winter Games of the Deaf since its inception in 1949. Davos is a ski village nestled in the Alps where competitions are held right in the village.

Read more1999
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Rome, 2001

With the International Olympic Committee's approval for the word change of "World Games for the Deaf" to "Deaflympics" in May 2001, Rome was the first to host the Summer Games using this new identity.

Read more2001
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Sundsvall, 2003

The National Swedish Association of Deaf Athletics and the City of Sundsvall were proud to be the host of the first-ever Winter Deaflympics. Sundsvall offered excellent winter sport facilities along with past experiences in arranging national and international winter sports events.

Read more2003
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Melbourne, 2005

Melbourne, Australia, the home of major sports events, such as the 1956 Olympics and the annual Australian Open Tennis Championships, the host of the 20th Summer Deaflympics in January, 2005.

Read more2005
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Saltlake, 2007

Salt Lake City, Utah, in the American Rockies, formerly the host of the 2002 XIX Olympic Winter Games and 8th Paralympic Winter Games, was the venue for the 16th Winter Deaflympics in 2007. Salt Lake City was the first city in the world to host all three IOC sanctioned events. Nearly 600 athletes and officials participated in the games.

Read more2007
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Tapei, 2009

Taipei, the biggest city of Taiwan, has been selected to be the host of the 21st Summer Deaflympics. In the meanwhile, this is the milestone that the first Summer Deaflympics to be held in Asia. For this breaking point, Taipei City Government reconstructs the forty-year-old stadium and other venues to make their best effort to fit the standards.

Read more2009
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Sofia, 2013

ICSD is forever grateful to Bulgaria for having successfully hosted the 22nd Summer Deaflympics after accepting the responsibility at such late notice in 2012 to make preparations. It was because the original host country had withdrawn. And the alternate host had also backed off. Furthermore, in February 2013, when the deaf Bulgarian organizers were in the middle of making progress with the plans, the Bulgarian Government decided to discontinue funding the host-city projects due to political changes. That didn't discourage the organizers. The Bulgarian Deaf Sports Federation (BSDF) took the whole financial responsibility in their hands to continue with the projects by successfully obtaining several sponsors. "On behalf of all the world's deaf athletes, I would like to express my sincere thanks to our Bulgarian friends," the ICSD's then president said.

Read more2013
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Khanty-Mansiysk, 2015

When the 17th Winter Deaflympics were cancelled, the faith in the ICSD was on shaky ground even after the leaders were replaced. However, that started to change with the success of the 22nd Summer Deaflympics in Sofia. Confidence in ICSD's new leadership was further boosted with the great comeback of the Winter Deaflympics at Khanty-Manslysk. The 18th Games enjoyed a record-breaking number of athletic participants from 27 different nations.

Read more2015