the disappointing cancellation of the 17th Deaflympics 2011, four years have passed quickly and now the Deaf Winter Olympics are upon us again.
This, the 18th Winter Deaflympics, will take place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, from 28th March to 5th April 2015. Interestingly, this is the third Olympics in a row that Russia has hosted! The Opening Ceremony, due to start at 8.15pm, will feature the lighting of the Deaflympics cauldron on the central square of Khanty-Mansiysk – this promises to be a magnificent and memorable scene for all
As we write this, we understand plans for the games are progressing well and on time. For example, we see that the Deaflympics snowboarding slopes, for slalom, giant slalom, board-cross, slopestyle and halfpipe events, are well under construction and nearing completion at the ski resort of ‘Khvoyny Urman’. Congratulations to Russia!
Who is taking part? Well, it seems almost as if half the world is entering Deaf athletes for the various competitions! Across the board in the alpine skiing, curling, ice hockey, cross country skiing and snowboarding categories, a total of 344 athletes are taking up the challenge in 31 medal events. In all, 27 countries are taking part from as far flung places as Armenia, Mongolia, Spain, Czech Republic and Pakistan. The host country, not surprisingly, is entering the largest number of athletes, 76 men and women, for the events.
As is traditional, the top three athletes in all the Deaf Winter Olympics competitions will receive medals: of gold, silver or bronze depending on the athletes’ finishing positions. Each 80mm diameter medal features a black-grouse, the official logo of the Deaflympics and the symbol of wealth in the culture of the Khanty people. Interestingly, the black-grouse depicted on the medals looks a little like a man’s hand and so is a fitting symbol to represent the manual communication of Deaf people.
wishes to wish the best of luck to all 2015 competitors!
For more information, please check the official Deaf Winter Olympics website: www.2015deaflympics.org