Deaflympics, first hosted in Paris in 1924, has welcomed many great stars in its long history. Here is a compilation of the most successful of them.

Giovanni Calissano (Italy - Shooting, Alpine skiing)
Born on the 30th of November, 1932; the shooter also competed in Alpine skiing in 1955 and 1959 Winter Deaflympics. But his main success was in the Summer Games. With 19 gold, 18 silver and 5 bronze medals in shooting and 20 world records in 11 branches, he is the most succesful athlete in Deaflympics history.

Timo Karvonen (Finland - Athletics, Cross-Country Skiing)
The Finnish athlete, born on 11.09.1948, competed in both Summer and Winter Deaflympics. One of the 4 athletes who won a gold medal in both Summer and Winter games, Karvonen earned gold medals in athletics in 1973 and 1981 Summer Deaflympics and in cross-country skiing in 1971, 1975, 1979 and 1987; breaking a total of 10 world records in 800, 1500, 3000, 5000 and 10000m distances. Karvonen competed in 5 Summer and 6 Winter Deaflympics. He read the Olympic oath in 13th Winter Deaflympics and was the guest of honor in ICDS 75th year gala.

Cindy-Lu Fitzpatrick (Australia - Swimming)
Born on 08.03.1965, she's the most successful female Deaflympics athlete of all time with 19 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals. She was 12 years old in her first Deaflympics. She became the champion in 100m and 200m breaststroke 5 times consecutively between 1981 - 1997. She broke 12 world records in different branches. The athlete competed in the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and 1986. She was one of the people carrying the Olympic torch in Sydney 2000 Olympics and the head official of 2005 Summer Deaflympics.

Masayuki Ikushima (Japan - Table Tennis)
Born on 12.04.1951, he was number one in table tennis for almost 20 years. He earned 18 gold and 3 silver medals between 1973-1993.

Rita Windbrake (West Germany, Germany - Athletics)
Born on 28.07.1945, she competed in 7 Deaflympics. She earned a total of 24 medals, 14 of them being gold. Her last medal was a silver she won in 1993, at the age of 48. She broke world records in 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 4x100m and 4x400m. In 1982, she was chosen as the "Female Athlete of the Century" by American Athletic Union of the Deaf.

Rajeev Bagga (India - Badminton)
Born in Mumbai on 06.04.1967, he became the Indian champion twice among Hearing athletes. He competed in 60 BWF-organized tournaments and became the only Deaf athlete to get ranked in BWF's yearly rankings. He won 16 medals in Deaflympics, 14 of them being gold.

Wendell Gaskin (USA - Athletics)
Born on 07.01.1973 and a grauate of Kansas University, he has broken Deaflympics records in 100m, 200m and 400m. He became the American youth champion in 1991, surpassing hearing athletes. In 1994 USA Olympic Festival, he won a gold medal, being the first and only Deaf athlete to do so. He couldn't compete in 1996 Atlanta Olympics due to his injury. He competed against elite hearing athletes in many organizations in 100m, 200m and 400m races. He was given the "Athlete of the Year" award by USA Deaf Sports Federation in 1993.

Tone Tangen-Myrvoll (Norway - Cross-Country Skiing, Athletics, Orienteering)
Born on 12.05.1965, the Norwegian athlete has many European champion titles in 5 km classic and 10 km pursuit in cross-country skiing. In addition to cross-country skiing, she is also a successful athlete, earning a bronze medal in 1500m in 1985 Summer Deaflympics. She competed in 1988 European Championship in orienteering and competed against hearing athletes in cross-country skiing in World Cup and Norwegian Championship. She won the ICSD Female Athlete of the Year award in 1998 and was the guest of honor in 1999 ICSD 75th year gala.

Valery Rukhledev (Russia - Judo, Sambo, Wrestling)
Born on 18.01.1948, he has a doctorate in Philosophy from Moscow University. He was the European judo champion in 1972 and the Soviet sambo champion in 1971, the only Deaf athlete to achieve either feat. He won 6 gold medals in Deaflympics in the wrestling branch in 1969, 1973 and 1977. He was the ICSD delegate of the Soviet Union (and then Russia) between 1987-2013. He is also the president of Russia National Deaf Union since 2003. He was elected as the 9th President of ICS in 44th ICSD Congress. Rukhledev was reelected as President in the congress in Samsun.

Zoran Stokic (Yugoslavia - Football)
Born on 07.06.1936, the football player was an inspiration for many. He was the captain of the Yugoslavia Deaf Football Team for many years and he led his team as they became the world champions 4 times in 12 years. A forward, he scored many vital goals for the team. One of the most memorable is his goal against Great Britain in 1965 Summer Deaflympics.

AND OTHERS...
Karl Gustav Astrom (Sweden): Has world records and 8 Deaflympics champion titles in different disciplines in athletics.
Laura Barber (USA): Has world records and 15 gold medals in different disciplines in swimming. 
Miroslaw Bednarek (Poland / Germany): Has 5 gold medals in athletics in Deaflympics. 
Erna Bruun-Frederiksen (Denmark): Has earned 11 gold medals in tennis. 
Waltraud Dunkl (Austria): Has earned 3 gold medals in shooting. 
Natalia Fishel (USSR / Ukraine): Has 2 gold medals in volleyball.
Reed Gershwind (USA): Has 13 gold medals in swimming and water polo and has broken world records in different disciplines in swimming. 
Dmitry Grigoriev (USSR / Russia): Has 15 gold medals in swimming and has broken world records in different disciplines.
Christian Hille (Germany): Has 6 gold medals in in athletics and has broken several world records.
Nina Ivanova (USSR): The athlete has 12 gold medals in Deaflympics and has broken world records in several disciplines.
Malcolm Lee Johnson (Great Britain): Has earned 5 gold medals in cycling.
Servaas Kamerling (Netherlands): The swimmer has 7 gold medals in Deaflympics and has broken world records in several disciplines.
Farley Kellett (Canada): Has earned 6 gold medals in speed skating.
Manfred Kranz ve Horst Prahl (Germany): The pair has 4 gold medals in men's doubles table tennis. 
Ronald Krieg (Germany): The German tennis plater has 8 gold medals in the history of Deaflympics. 
Petra Kurkova (Czechia): Czech Alpine discipline skier, has earned 8 gold medals. 
Hans Lie (Norway): Norwegian Alpine discipline skier, has earned 8 gold medals.
Pal Lowenstein (Hungary): Has become the Deaflympics champion 5 times in table tennis. 
Gertrud Maier-Wessel (Germany): Has 3 gold medals in athletics, also represented Germany in swimming and volleyball.
Barbara Oddone (Italy): Earned 15 gold medals in tennis.
Vittorio Pallattini (Italy): Earned 8 gold medals in Alpine skiing.
Paul Reinmund (France): Has 6 gold medals in athletics and has broken world records in several disciplines. 
Ronald Rice (USA): Has 8 gold medals in swimming and has broken world records in several disciplines. 
Sasan Rozbahani (Iran): Earned 4 gold medals in wrestling..
William Schyman (USA): The only Deaf player to have played in NBA. Has become the Deaflympics champion in basketball.
Emmanuil Slutsky (USSR): Has 3 gold medals in long jump in athletics. 
William Smith (Great Britain): Has 12 gold medals in tennis.
Helene Sonderegger (Switzerland): Has 6 gold medals in Alpine skiing.
Anatoly Vaganov (USSR): Has 8 gold medals in gymnastics.
Viktor Yuzhaninov (USSR / Russia): Has become the Deaflympics champion 12 times in cross-country skiing.

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