Many athletes left their mark on Deaflympics history with their successes or interesting life stories. We've compiled some of them.

Oscar Wetzell (Finland): Was the national champion in diving among the hearing and he was the first ever Deaf person to compete at the Olympic games -twice- in 1908 and 1912.

Carlo Orlandi (Italy): Was the first ever Deaf person to win a gold medal in boxing at the Olympic games in 1928.

Yehuda Gruenfeld (Israel): The game of chess was twice played as a demonstration sport on the program of Deaflympics 1953 and 1955 Winter Games. However, this Deaf grandmaster never had the opportunity to show his skills at the Deaflympics because chess was never included on its medal program. Most importantly, he won the national title among the hearing twice and was the only Deaf person to take part at the prestigious FIDE Chess Olympiad nine times.

Svetlana Slepneva (USSR): Was a 5-time gold medal winner in gymnastics at the 1961 Summer Deaflympics. After her retirement from the sport, Slepneva was offered a professional contract to become an actress at the famed Moscow Theater of Mime and Gesture, which was then the only professional artistic troupe among the Deaf in the world.

Vanessa Vidal (Brazil): She played for the national team in Beach Volleyball at the 22nd Summer Deaflympics in 2013. She received much publicity and fame as the only Deaf entrant in the Miss Brazil pageant contest among the hearing, held in 2008, in which she was a runner-up.

Ramunas Svedas (Lithuania): The Lithuanian sports leaders sent this lone skier to the Deaflympics Winter Games held in Davos, Switzerland, in 1999. And there this athlete very unexpectedly won a silver medal in men's 10km Nordic skiing race. But the Swiss organization didn't have a flag of Lithuania in their possession for the medal awards ceremony. The ceremony had to be delayed. Because the organizers were unable to find a flag, the ICSD Administration agreed to allow its own flag to be raised at the podium in honor of this Lithuanian athlete.

Ilaria Galbusera (Italy): Was a member of the national team in volleyball at the Summer Deaflympics in 2009 and 2013. In 2011, at the age of 20, she was crowned Miss Deaf World at the global beauty contest held in Prague, Czech Republic.

Miha Zupan (Slovenia): Competed at the Summer Deaflympics four times between 1997-2013. He has been the only Deaf person to play in the Professional Basketball League (SuperLeague A) and the EuroCup (ULEB) for several strong teams in Slovenia, Russia and Greece. In 2010 he was named the ICSD World Male Athlete of the Year.

Gary Malkowski (Canada): He represented his country as a table tennis player at the two Summer Deaflympics in 1977 and 1985. He was Canada's first Deaf parliamentarian in the world to address a legislature in a sign language, specifically in American Sign Language (ASL).

Matt Hamill (USA): A three-time gold medal winner in wrestling at the Summer Deaflympics in 1997 and 2001, he made a Professional Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career as a fighter. The 2010 movie - The Hammer - about his early life and wrestling career was a big hit among the worldwide cinema audience.

Terence Parkin (South Africa): This greatest Deaf athlete in the world won a record of 29 gold medals in swimming at the Summer Deaflympics between 1997 and 2009. At the 2013 Summer Deaflympics he took part in his new and different discipline - mountain biking. However, he experienced a misfortune this time: he did not finish the grueling race because of a very serious injury and as a result he had to be rushed to the hospital.

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