History of Deaflympics
The Deaflympics were originally known as the World Games for the Deaf. The first Deaflympics were held in Paris, France in 1924. The first Winter Deaflympics were held in 1949 in Seefeld, Austria. A total of 33 athletes from 5 different countries participated. Ever since, the numbers have increased, with 298 athletes from 23 countries participating at the 2007 Winter Deaflympics.th
In May 2001, the ICSD was granted permission by the IOC to use DEAFLYMPICS to signify the athletic competition formerly known as the World Games of the Deaf. The first official "Deaflympics" were in Rome, in 2001.
The United States has hosted the Winter Deaflympics twice. USA hosted their first Winter Deaflympics in 1975 at Lake Placid, NY. Most recently, USA hosted the 2007 Winter Deaflympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The ICSD was founded as Comite International des Sports des Sourds (CISS) in Paris, France in August 1924, and was the first international organization in the world for athletes with disabilities.
The Executive Board consists of one President, one Vice-President and four members at large. There are four represents in a non-voting capacity that are elected for a term of four years by the Congress held every four years.
The ICSD is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and has the patronage of the IOC each year to support promoting the Games worldwide. There are currently 95 member countries and split among 4 Continental Deaf Sports Confederations in Europe, Asia Pacific, Pan America and Africa.
Craig Crowley, a Briton, is the President of ICSD.
The logo of the 17th Winter Deaflympics in Vysoke Tatry represents a hand drawn on a snow-covered glass. It contains the simple sign for "ok" which encapsulates the entire event positively and expresses the inner feeling of all the people involved in this event. The extended fingers represent a stylized image of the peaks of Vysoke Tatry. The inscription of the game is made by finger-writing. This refers to the language of signing, as the movement of a writing hand gives the same information as a sign in the sign language communication. The snow-covered glass, as a symbol of the barrier of the deaf, becomes by means of writing on it a communication medium for the whole visual concept of the Winter Deaflympics in Vysoke Tatry 2011.
The three hills IA, IE, IU represent the symbolic mountains of Vysoke Tatry. They are happy, playful and friendly and, in comparison to the real mountains, they have one big advantage — you can really hug them. All three together, they create an excellent trio — a mountain range. They can play all the sports of the Winter Deaflympics. Each of them has its own attribute and color and they are tuned to the colors of the Slovak Deaflympic Committee.
Their names are simple and easy to remember: IA, IE, IU — the diphthongs, one of the characteristic signs of the Slovak language. The primary role of these mascots is to render the games more pleasant and lively and bring them closer to the youngest ones.