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Slovakia Winter Deaflympics Officially Declared Canceled

Author: International Committee of Sports for the Deaf

Published: 2011-02-11 : (Rev. 2013-07-13)

Synopsis and Key Points:

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

Main Digest

Official Announcement Regarding the 17th Winter Deaflympics.

The International Committee of Deaf Sports (ICSD) regrets to confirm that the 17th Winter Deaflympics has been officially declared canceled at 16:00 on Friday, 11 February. The 43rd ICSD Congress will be postponed to a later date.

ICSD Executive Board has demanded an urgent meeting with the President of the Slovakian Deaflympics Committee, Mr. Jaromir Ruda, to discuss all critical issues.

Further details regarding the cancellation of the Games will be announced shortly after the ICSD Executive Board meets.

ICSD wants to acknowledge the hard work of the athletes and coaches in preparation for the Winter Deaflympics and it is with great regret that this had to be done.

UPDATE - 13 Feb 2011:

ICSD Confirms Organizing Committee Failure To Deliver 17th Winter Deaflympics

Vysoke Tatry, SVK - Following intensive meetings in the Slovakian town where the 2011 Winter Deaflympics were to have been hosted, the ICSD leadership team has been able to confirm the local organizing committee's comprehensive failure to deliver on its promises.

"After arriving here in Vysoke Tatry to begin our monitoring of final preparations for the Winter Deaflympics, we became increasingly concerned about the lack of readiness and the absence of key organizers," commented ICSD Chief Executive Tiffany Granfors. "Repeated assurances had been given regarding the organizing committee's financial state and it's overall readiness. But these assurances were simply not matched by the facts on the ground," added Granfors.

On the afternoon of Friday, 11 February, the key venues of Jasna Nizke Tatry ski resort, Park Snow FIS and Interski in atrbske Pleso announced they had still not been paid by the organizing committee. As a direct consequence of this financial failure by the Slovakian organizers, the venues publicly announced the cancellations of their contracts to host Winter Deaflympics events.

"The welfare of Deaf athletes is and always will be the ICSD's top priority," commented Granfors. "As soon as time ran out on the repeated promises to host the Games, we quickly informed our Members of the cancellation."

The 2011 Winter Deaflympics Organizing Committee has subsequently accepted full responsibility for the failure, with its Chairman, Jaromir Ruda, citing his failure to secure the necessary and much-promised funding.

"We are heartbroken by the impact of the organizers' broken promises and we are working as hard as we can to mitigate the effect it will have on Deaf athletes and Deaf sport," added Granfors.

UPDATE - 14 Feb 2011:

ICSD Pursuing Legal Action Following Failure of 17th Winter Deaflympics

Vysoke Tatry, SVK - As the ICSD continues to do its utmost to resolve the crisis in Slovakia, ICSD President Craig Crowley and the ICSD Executive Board acknowledged the messages received from members of the Deaf sports community around the world.

"We understand the deep distress and anguish everyone is feeling about the failure of the 17th Winter Deaflympics. We are devastated by it," commented Crowley. "Many of us have long-term involvement in the Deaflympics, we can relate to the hard work all of the athletes put into their training and the hard work of the National Deaf Sports Federations, to fund participation in the 17th Winter Deaflympics. We want to express our deep disappointment with the failure," added Crowley.

The ICSD has already filed a criminal complaint against the Slovakian Deaflympics Organizing Committee and its President Mr. Jaromir Ruda. The criminal complaint demands reimbursement of the funds that were transferred to the Slovakian Deaflympics Organizing Committee from national deaf sports federations, to cover hotel accommodations and other Deaflympics-related expenses. The criminal complaint also addresses further expenses incurred as a direct result of the failure of the 17th Winter Deaflympics.

The Slovakia Deaflympic Committee and the Slovakia Association of Deaf Sportsmen Unions are immediately suspended on a provisional basis, pending the final approval of Congress for which we are already making plans.

Embassy consular services are able to help their citizens here in Slovakia. With the ICSD having a UK President and a US Chief Executive, ICSD has been able to enlist the support of UK and US consular support in pursuing legal and financial remedies. "We have provided all 58 national deaf sports federations due to be in Slovakia with the means to enlist the support of their Embassies' consular services too, in support of the claim filed by ICSD on behalf of all involved," commented Crowley.

ICSD expects that individual athletes, officials, families and fans may wish to contact their national deaf sports federations, to see how they too can help generate pressure on Slovakian authorities, via the relevant Embassies.

"Rest assured that we remain devastated by the failure of the 17th Winter Deaflympics. We are working as hard as possible to remedy the situation," added Crowley.

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