Deaflympics: International Games for the Deaf


Information on the Deaflympics the International Games competition for the Deaf sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee.

Definition: Defining the Meaning of Deaflympics

The Deaflympics (previously called World Games for the Deaf, and International Games for the Deaf) are an International Olympic Committee (IOC)-sanctioned event at which deaf athletes compete at an elite level. However, unlike the athletes in other IOC-sanctioned events (i.e., the Olympics, the Paralympics, and the Special Olympics), the Deaflympians cannot be guided by sounds (i.e., the starter's guns, bullhorn commands or referee whistles). The games have been organized by the Comite International des Sports des Sourds (CISS, "The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf") since the first event.

Main Document

What are the Deaflympics

The Deaflympics are more than just the world's second oldest multiple sports games after the Olympics. They are also among the world's fastest growing sports events.

The Deaflympics are held every 4 years.

Previously called World Games for the Deaf, and International Games for the Deaf, the Deaflympics are an IOC-sanctioned event at which Deaf athletes compete at an elite level. The event was last held in Melbourne, Australia, in 2005, and attracted over 3,000 competitors.

The biggest difference between the Deaflympics, Olympics, Paralympics, and other main sporting events is the competitors cannot start a race with a bell, whistle, bullhorn or cannot hear a referee call the play.

Formal international competition in deaf sport began with the 1924 Paris Silent Games, organized by the Comite International des Sports des Sourds, CISS (The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf). These games evolved into the modern Deaflympics, governed by the CISS. The CISS maintains separate games for deaf athletes based on their numbers, their special communication needs on the sports field, and the social interaction that is a vital part of sports.

The games are built on 80 years of tradition. Organized since 1924 by the Comite International des Sports des Sourds, CISS (The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf), the first Summer Deaflympics were held in Paris.

Winter Deaflympics were added in 1949. The Summer and Winter Deaflympics are sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, IOC.

To qualify for the games, athletes must have a hearing loss of at least 55 db in their "better ear". Hearing aids, cochlear implants and the like are not allowed to be used in competition, to place all athletes on the same level.

Deaflympic Dates and Locations:

Summer Deaflympics 2009 - 5 Sep - 15 Sep - Were held in Taipei, the biggest city of Taiwan.

Winter Deaflympics 2011 - 10 Feb - 20 Feb - To be held in High Tatras (Vysoke Tatry) Slovakia.

Summer Deaflympics 2013 - 31 Jul - 13 Aug - To be held in Athens Greece.

Winter Deaflympics 2015 - 25 March - 5 April - To be held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

Deaflympic Games:

Summer and Winter Deaflympics programs
Summer Deaflympics Sports
Beach Volleyball
Cycling Road
Table Tennis
Water Polo
Wrestling Freestyle
Wrestling Greco-Roman
Winter Deaflympics Sports
Alpine Skiing
Cross Country Skiing
Ice Hockey

During the countdown for the 2009 Taipei event Jackie Chan, (actor), sung the 2009 Deaflympics theme song "Power in Me" and told the crowd about an accident in Yugoslavia which left him with decreased hearing in one ear. He encouraged everyone to keep trying their best and never to give up in order to succeed.

Unlike other games for athletes with disabilities, which are all directed by non-disabled officials, the Deaflympics are run by deaf people for deaf athletes.

Quick Facts: Deaflympic Host Nations

To date, the Deaflympic Games have been hosted by 36 cities in 21 countries, but by cities outside Europe on only five occasions (Washington D.C. 1965, Los Angeles 1985, Christchurch 1989, Melbourne 2005 and Taipei 2009). The last summer games was held in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2013, and the next scheduled winter games will be in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia in 2015.

Latest Deaflympics Publications

UKDS endeavors to highlight the courageous efforts of the athletes as they prepare to represent the GB on the international stage.

The 2013 Summer Deaflympics will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria 26 July to 4 August.

Greek government has formally confirmed that it will not provide financial support for 2013 Deaflympics games.

Status of arrangements for forthcoming Deaflympics from ICSD The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf.

The International Committee of Deaf Sports (ICSD) regrets to confirm that the 17th Winter Deaflympics has been officially declared canceled.

Information regarding the 2011 Deaflympics Winter Games at Vysoke Tatry in Slovakia.

The 2011 Winter Deaflympics in Slovakia will proceed as scheduled.

International Committee of Sports for the Deaf announces cancellation of 17th Winter Deaflympics in Slovakia.

Click Here for Full List of Documents (14 Items)