The first time Miss and Mister Deaf International (MMDI) ran was in Las Vegas, 2010 in conjunction with DeafNation Expo 2010. The founders of MMDI were Laura Snyder-Gardener and Bonnita Anne Leeks. These beautiful older Deaf American ladies put in an enormous amount of time, energy and effort into setting up the non-profit organisation of MMDI. Sadly Laura Snyder-Gardener passed away earlier this year and will be sadly missed by the International Deaf Community.
MMDI provides the opportunity for young deaf women and men to experience the worldwide Deaf community and connect with other Deaf people from different cultures and backgrounds. It is a unique opportunity for Deaf people to show the world what they can do. Both the contestants and the audience can meet up and learn from each other in a wide range of areas.
This year MMDI ran from 24th July until 31st July 2013 in Sofia, Bulgaria during the 22nd Summer Deaflympics that was also being held there! It was a really unique event where Deaf tourists, Deaf sports fans and Deaf Bulgarians admired beautiful Deaf contestants. They had a great opportunity to see them and communicate with them in International Sign Language. Those contestants were also greeted in the Deaf Opening Ceremony. It was a beautiful experience to see and interact with these amazing Deaf people.
This year MMDI was held in the conjunction with the Deaf Unlimited-Bulgarian Foundation with Mitko Yikimov and CecoKounchev. They were the leaders of MMDI who appointed their management and ran a program in co-working with all Deaf people. MMDI had many judges who were working throughout the week. This included judging swimming pool photos, interviews, choreography, etc. MMDI strongly supports Deaf-lead organisations where there are many Deaf staff and Deaf volunteers who demonstrate their skills and talents in supporting their organisations’ activities.
During the finale on 31st July 2013 we all had a great time. It was very exciting to see who the winners were.
The Female winners were:
Miss Deaf International: Lais Goncalves (Miss Deaf Brazil)
1st Runner Up: Parswoya Yaucharoen (Miss Deaf Thailand)
2nd Runner Up: Amina Usmanovass (Miss Deaf Kazakhstan)
3rd Runner Up: Bronislava Kharitonova (Miss Deaf Russia)
The Male winners were:
Mister Deaf International: Rafael Grombelka (Mr Deaf Germany)
1st Runner Up: Osman Okhostky Abbasovyeh (Mr Deaf Ukraine)
2nd Runner Up: Mangus Magnus (Mr Deaf Norway)
3rd Runner Up: Tomaz Beche Estivalete (Mr Deaf Brazil)
Best Talent awards were won by Sammy Fullarton (Miss Deaf Australia) and Rafael Grombelka (Mr Deaf Germany).
Individual Continental Awards were also given out.
Mr Deaf Africa was won by Khaled Wahbi Mohmmed (Mr Deaf Egypt).
(There were no Miss Deaf Africa competitors)
Mr Deaf America was won by Tomaz Beche Estivalete (Mr Deaf Brazil).
Miss Deaf America was won by Lais Goncalves (Miss Deaf Brazil).
Mr Deaf Asia was won by Bayabsukhan Boldsaihkan (Mr Deaf Mongolia).
Miss Deaf Asia was won by Parswoya Yaucharoen (Miss Deaf Thailand).
Mr Deaf Oceania was won by Jarran Harris (Mr Deaf Australia).
Miss Deaf Oceania was won by Sammy Fullarton (Miss Deaf Australia).
Mr Deaf Europe was won by Rafael Grombelka (Mr Deaf Germany).
Miss Deaf Europe was won by Bronislava Kharitonova (Miss Deaf Russia).
Miss Congeniality was won by Dominika Mackanyte (Miss Deaf Lithuania).
Mr Photogenic was won by Yagel Balilty (Mister Deaf Israel).
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