Success in sports runs in the blood of some families. We have seen many such families in Deaflympics history; here's a rundown of them:

Pelletier Family (France, 1953-2009) - 4 gold, 10 silver, 4 bronze
The Pelletier family took part in Deaflympics with 9 members. Long distance runner Armand Pelletier (b. 1933) represented his country in 1953 and 1957 and won a silver medal im 15000m. Armand and his wife Yvette had 4 Deaf children. Between 1971-1987, in both Summer and Winter Games, these 4 children participated in Deaflympics.

Pierre Pelletier (b. 1957) participated in Alpine skiing in 1971, 1975, 1979 and 1987.

Brigitte Pelletier (b. 1958) participated in 5 different Games. She took part in athletics in 100m and 200m races in 1973. She won 1 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze medals in 1975, 1979 and 1983 Deaflympics in Alpine skiing disciplines.

Caroline Pelletier (b. 1959) participated in 3 Winter Deaflympics in Alpine skiing. She achieved a gold medal in Super-G, silver in Giant Slalom and Slalom, and bronze in Downhill. She married Polish athlete Jozef Barbuzynski, who earned a gold medal in 20km walk in 1973 and 1985.

Mireille (b. 1960) competed in Alpine skiing and achieved bronze in Giant Slalom in 1975. She also competed in 1979, earning a gold in Giant Slalom and bronze in Downhill.

Armand also had 4 grandchildren who continued the family tradition of competing in Deaflympics. Pierre's son David (b. 1978) competed in Deaflympics between 1995-2007. He won a gold medal in Giant Slalom and bronze medal in Slalom in 1999 Davos. Nicholas (b. 1979) was a part of the French football team in Rome 2001. The 2 girls also competed in Deaflympics: Melanie (b. 1982) competed in Alpine skiing in 1999 and Delphine (b. 1983) competed in Alpine skiing in 1999 and badminton in 2009. Thus, the Pelletier family competed in 5 sports between 1953-2009: athletics, badminton, Alpine skiing, football and cross-country skiing. 


Lowenstein Family (Hungary, 1957-1985) - 7 gold, 11 silver, 8 bronze
Pal Lowenstein (b. 1934) had a Deaf sister Eva (b. 1938) and a Deaf brother Gyorgy (b. 1940). The three siblings were  accoplished table tennis players at the Deaflympics in various years. Pal competed at the Games 8 times between 1957-1985 and garnered a total of 20 medals (5 gold, 8 silver, 7 bronze).

Eva ran the 200m distance in Milano 1957, but she did not fare well in the event. She switched to table tennis in 1961 and won a gold medal in singles.

Gyorgy took part in table tennis in 1965, 1969 and 1977 and was awarded a total of 5 medals: 1 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze. He was also a successful chess player. He was a part of the gold medal winning team in 1962 World Team Chess Championship.


Weltner Family (Hungary, 1957-1981) - 9 gold, 7 silver, 6 bronze
Gyorgy Weltner (b. 1929) competed in 1957 and 1965 in table tennis and won one silver medal in doubles. He served as the Technical Director for ICSD for many years. In 1985 he received the ICSD Medal of Honor.

His wife Gyorgyne Weltner (b. 1934 as Maria Ivankay) competed in table tennis between 1957-1985 8 times and received 8 gold, 6 silver and 4 bronze medals. 

Their daughter Terezia was born on the 3rd of July, 1959. She was also a successful table tennis player like her parents. She competed in 1973, 1979 and 1981 Deaflympics. When she earned a gold medal with the Hungarian team in 1973, she was only 14 years and 19 days old. Terezia also gained a bronze medal each in singles and doubles in 1977.


Johnson Family (USA, 1969-2005) - 8 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze
Shirley Johnson née Hottle competed in 1969 and 1973 Deaflympics and earned 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals. After the 1973 games, she married basketball player Ronald Johnson (b. 1946). Ronald was a member of the gold-winning American basketball teams of 1969 and 1973. The pair had 4 children and 3 of them seem to have inherited the athletic genes of their parents: Robin (b. 1974), Shanada (b. 1977) and Ronda (b. 1978) all represented their countries in Deaflympics.

Robin was a 1997 Games champion in Basketball. Ronda, who sadly passed away at the age of 35 on July 18, 2013, twice won the gold medal with the USA Basketball team in 2001 and 2005. Shanada was a silver medalist for the USA Volleyball team in 2001.


Yakubovsky Family (USSR/Russia, 1977-2013) - 5 gold, 6 silver, 5 bronze
Elena Yakubovsky née Shipilina competed in 1977 and 1981 Deaflympics. She became the first Soviet swimmer to win a gold medal in women's swimming with her medal in 100m breaststroke. She also earned a silver in 200m breaststroke.

Elena's son Vladislav (b. 1979) competed in athletics. In 2005 he won a silver in 10000m and in 2009 he won a silver in 3000m steeplechase and 2 bronzes in 5000m and 10000m. In 2004 he was chosen the Athlete of the Year by ICSD.

Vladislav's wife Olga née Shmigelskaya was born in 1981. She won 12 medals between 1997-2013: A silver in 1997 in 4x400 relay, a gold in 2001 in 1500m, a silver and 2 bronzes in 2005 in 4x100m relay, marathon and 4x400 relay respectively; a gold, 2 silver and a bronze in 2009 in 3000m steeplechase, 1500m, 10000m and 4x400 relay respectively; and finally, 3 gold medals in 2013 in 1500m, 5000m and 10000m.


Barron Family (USA, 1981-1993) - 4 gold, 2 silver
All 4 children of Iowan Jack and Maureen Barron competed in Deaflympics. Luanne competed at the Games as a member of American Women's Volleyball team and earned 2 gold (1985, 1993) and 2 silver medals (1981, 1989). Jack Barron Jr. was only 17 when he became the Deaflympic champion in 1981 in freestyle wrestling bantamweight (57kg). Stacia finished 5th in the javelin competition in 1981 and was a member of the gold-winning USA Women's Basketball Team in 1985. Finally, Barry placed 5th in the 69kg Greco-Roman wrestling event in 1997.


Lomakina-Khomyakova Family (USSR/Russia, 1975-1997) - 2 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze
In 1957, the Soviet Union sent athletes to Deaflympics for the first time. Among these 26 athletes was Antonina Lomakina from Leningrad (currently St. Petersburg). Lomakina (b. 1923) ranked 4th in long jump and 5th in high jump.

16 years later, the daughter Nina Lomakina won a gold in pentathlon, a silver in high jump and a bronze in 100m hurdles in Malmö. In 1977 Bucharest, she won 2 bronze medals in pentathlon and 100m hurdles.

20 years later in Copenhagen, Nina's daugter Elena Khomyakova won the gold medal in 100m hurdles and ranked 4th in high jump and 5th in long jump.

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