Meaning: a series of international contests for athletes with disabilities that are associated with and held following the summer and winter Olympic Games.

Commonly used in Europe's signed languages and in international deaf gatherings.


Deaf Culture and tidbits

Ask Q, Answer Q

Why can't Deaf athletes participate in the Paralympics?

1) There is no Paralympic category for athletes who are only deaf. Another separate disability is required for deaf athletes to compete in the Paralympics. That's not the main reason that Deaf athletes cannot participate in.

2) Deaflympics (formerly known as World Games for the Deaf founded in 1924) under the CISS has been existent for deaf athletes ever since. It's the second oldest international games after the Olympics. The CISS has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 1955.

4) Deaf community worldwide for a very long time do not consider themselves (ourselves) disabled, particularly in physical ability. Deaf people are linguistic-cultural entity and Deaf athletes at the Deaf Games are physically able-bodied. Only the difference is a language-modality.

3) The CISS and the Paralympic committee weren't able to reach agreements. The CISS asked to retain its autonomy of its Deaflympics entity if joined with the Paralympics -- e.g. Olympics, Deaflympics and Paralympics entities. Another problem was that there would be a highly restricted number of deaf athletes in the Paralympics, which would be impossible to cut out a few thousands of deaf athletes. The Paralympic Games is still a hearing competition that doesn't share the same experience of siblinghood as the Deaf Games.

Hopefully, the Deaflympics will have as much exposure and sponsorships as the Paralympics and Olympics in the future games. The 2009 Taipei Summer Deaflympics in Taiwan was a success with great exposure and sponsorships.

Links for more information

"The World Games for the Deaf and the Paralympic Games"

"Deaf-blind swimmer Becca Meyers drops out of Paralympic Games after being denied personal care assistant":

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