The 2019 Deaflympics – The Olympic Games for the Deaf

The 2019 Deaflympics – The Olympic Games for the Deaf

When the Olympic Games are not enough, people turn to other competitions. But wait, if there are competitions which are sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, then you have to pay attention to them, as they will attract attention, like every other Olympic event, summer or winter. Punters love the Olympics and so do the bookmakers, as it is an opportunity for both sides to win a lot of money. Even online bookmakers like bet365 can earn more money from more Olympic events.

And there come the Deaflympics, or rather, they have been here for almost an entire century, or rather, they will turn 100 years in 2024. In 1949, the Winter Deaflympics were added. With that in mind, it is worth mentioning that the Deaflympics are the second longest lasting multi-sport competition, next only to the Olympics. 2019 will see another iteration of the Deaflymipcs, the Winter Deaflympics, held in Italy. Here is everything you need to know about the Deaflympics and their upcoming iteration.

They are Governed by a Different Body

Given how deaf people cannot be signalled in the standard way, using a gun or yelling, another solution needed to be implemented. The Deaflympics as a competition, while sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, are not governed by the IOT. They have always been organized by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf or CISS, as its original name is in French. 

The first games were held in Paris, France in 1924. They had 149 athletes from 9 countries. They were called the International Silent Games. In 1949, a Winter Edition was added, or rather the Winter Deaflympics. Qualifying athletes need to have a 55db imparity in their better ear. Hearing aids are not allowed, thus placing the athletes in the same tier. They have almost always been hosted in Europe, and outside Europe on five occasions, namely in twice in the United States, once in Taiwan, and once in Australia and New Zealand. The competition is quadriennal, like all Olympic Games events are, with the Winter Deaflympics being on the odd year, due to their 1949 inception year.

2019 Deaflympics – Italy is the Host Country

The Winter Deaflympics are scheduled to take place from December 12 to December 21 in the Sondrio Province in Italy, specifically the north of Italy. The Deaflympics had a bit of a crisis in 2018 when the president at the time, Valery Rukhledev was accused and found guilty of embezzling money. He embezzled 803,000 dollars from the Russian Society of the Deaf. He was actually under house arrest. He stepped down as president on July 31st. He was replaced by Rebecca Adam. People criticized this move, and some even thought that the Deaflympics were not going to be hosted due to the scandals. They were wrong and they were happy to be wrong. The ICSD decided to award Italy the host, even though Valery pushed for Kazakhstan to be the host, but never submitted a formal application.

With all that drama aside, you can look forward to 6 sports disciplines, alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, curling and hockey. That is five sports, but there will be a sport which is not specifically a winter sport, unless people really want to, and that is chess. Take note that this will be the very first time that chess is played in a multi-sport event in history, ever.

This is everything you need to know about the 2019 Deaflympics. They are not called the Deaf Olympics, but the Deaflympics, so have that in mind unless you want to run into frowns as a spectator.