Silent glory: 2019 Winter Deaflympics
International competition for people with a hearing disability means some nessecary adjustments, but mainly a very high level. In case of the Winter Deaflympics, the high level could be taken litterally as wel. Valtellina, Italy Will host the 2019 Winter Deaflympics from 12 to 21 December.
Anja Drev during the 2015 Deaflympics (source: sloski.si)
What are the Winter Deaflympics?
The Deaflympics are an international multi-sports event for athletes with a hearing impairment. Just like the Paralympics and Olympics the Deaflympics have both summer and winter games. Besides that there’s more similarities between these events; the Deaflympics have an equal status to the other two events and are also held every four years.
There are five sports included in the Winter Deaflympics: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, curling and ice hockey.
How did they begin?
In 1924 the Silent Games were held in Paris France. These games were the first adaptive games and would later become the Summer Deaflympics. The first Winter Games were held in Seefeld, Austria in 1949. In Seefeld there were 33 athletes from five countries competing.
Team Canada lining up against Russia at the 2015 Deaflympics (source: ugra2015.com)
Which athletes should you watch out for?
Anja Drev, Slovenia, Alpine Skiing
Being only 18 years old she took a bronze medal home from the 2015 Winter Deaflympics. Anja won her medal at the downhill event, a discipline in alpine skiing in which athletes usually brake through at a relatively higher age. This makes the Slovenian a very exciting prospect for the upcoming Winter Deaflympics.
Canada Ice Hockey Men
Although they didn’t win the 2015 Winter Deaflympics, the Canadians are very promesing for the 2019 edition. A reason for that is that the Canada team won the silver medal with a extremely young team. Winner Russia for example, played with players that might have had there best time already, meanwhile there was still more potential in Canada’s squad.
Alisa Pyshniak, Ukraine, Nordic Skiing
She won a silver and a bronze medal in 2015 and just missed out on a third podium finish. Considering the fact that she was only 22 years old at the time and competing in an edurance sport, there might be some great opportunities ahead for Alisa.
Alisa Pyshniak (source: ugra2015.com)
Where can you find out more about the Winter Deaflympics?
Facebook: facebook.com/Deaflympics / @Deaflympics
Twitter: twitter.com/deaflympics / @Deaflympics