Deaflympics FAQ’s

Audiogram Regulations – click here

Can you tell me more about the Summer Deaflympics?

Under  the  Patronage  of  the  International  Olympic  Committee  (IOC),  the Deaflympics is the second oldest multi-sport and cultural festival in the world, with a proud history stretching back to the first Games in Paris, in 1924. The Summer Deaflympics is among the world’s fastest growing sports events.

Deaf athletes participating in the Deaflympics get an opportunity to enjoy that same Olympic experience as their hearing counterparts.

Why can’t Deaf Athletes join the Paralympics?

There are no Paralympic category for athletes who are only Deaf. The Paralympic Games already faces strict limiton the number of competitors. Many did not want to include athletes with a learning difficulty partly because of the additional numbers.

It is obvious that the Paralympics would not be able to absorb such a large number. Some athletes in other disabilities would need to be cut back to allow for  a limited number of Deaf athletes to participate. All disabled athletes would suffer as a consequence.

Do Deaf Athletes prefer separate Games?

Among the Deaf community there is overwhelming support for separate Games. Many Deaf people do not consider themselves disabled, particularly in physical or intellectual ability. Rather, we consider ourselves to be part of a cultural and linguistic minority.

The Deaf athlete is physically able-bodied and able to compete without significant restrictions, with the exception of communication barriers.

The Deaf athlete views the disabled athlete as being a hearing person first and disabled second. When athletes congregate at the Paralympics, or when hearing and Deaf people congregate at any event, the hearing people, regardless of physical limitations, are able to converse freely with each other as long as they have a common language.

The Deaf athlete, however, is always excluded from the group. On the other hand, at the Deaf Games, or any other event at which Deaf people meet, Deaf athletes can usually communicate other Deaf athletes, regardless of which country they may be representing.

Who organise and manage the Great Britain Deaflympic Squad?

Great Britain Deaflympic Organising Committee (GBDOC) is led by UK Deaf Sport.   GBDOC  has  been  established which  comprises  of  Chair,  Trustee, Technical  Director, National  Deaf  Sport  Organisations,  and experienced volunteers  working  collectively  to  co-ordinate  the  Great  Britain  squad  at Deaflympics.

Can you tell me more about the Great Britain Deaflympic Organising Committee’s (GBDOC) role in managing the Great Britain Deaflympic Squad?

There  has  been  a  big  shift  in  how  the  various  sports  prepare  for  the Deaflympics with each sport being wholly responsible for its own Performance Plan and preparations. Considerable support has been given to each sport by both the GBDOC and UKDS to ensure that each sport does not feel that it is working in isolation.

An example of this is the preparation of the Performance Plan,  where  all  the  sports  directors  of  the  sports  being  considered  for Deaflympics  were  given  a template to  produce  a Performance Plan,  which was discussed in detail at one of the  regular planning meetings.

Further to this, a series of presentations to athletes would have been given by the Chef de Mission  reinforcing the  need for them to focus  on their  preparation  and attention to detail in terms of training and diet.

As part of the planning and preparations for Deaflympics, the Chef de Mission undertakes a one week site visit  to meet the Games management team and to inspect the venues and facilities.  This visit proves invaluable with the early booking of facilities, including the preparation holding camp and the hotel facilities during the competition.

All the sports have had to follow a stringent qualifying criteria where the Chef de  Mission  along  with  the  Team  managers  of  each  sport  have  worked together to agree outcomes and targets prior to  selection. These outcomes are  based  on  both  performance  and  preparation.  No  athlete  is  selected without final approval from the GBDOC.