Deaflympics is a multi-sport event specifically designed for athletes who are deaf or hearing impaired. It is considered the highest level of international competition for deaf athletes, similar to the Paralympics for athletes with physical disabilities. The term "Deaflympics" combines the words "deaf" and "Olympics," symbolizing a parallel event to the prestigious Olympic Games.
The Deaflympics is governed by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD), which was established in 1924. This organization oversees the organization and coordination of the event, including the selection of host cities and the management of competitions. The ICSD's mission is to promote sports and physical activity among the deaf community, recognizing the unique talents and abilities of deaf athletes.
The primary objective of the Deaflympics is to provide equal opportunities for deaf athletes to compete at an elite level, showcasing their skills in various sports disciplines. Some of the sports featured in Deaflympics include athletics, swimming, football, basketball, volleyball, and tennis, among others.
Participants in the Deaflympics must meet certain eligibility criteria, such as meeting the hearing loss standards defined by the ICSD. The event is held every four years, generally alternating between summer and winter editions. The Deaflympics serves not only as a platform for athletic excellence but also as a celebration of diversity, fostering greater inclusion and understanding for the deaf and hearing impaired community globally.
The word "Deaflympics" is a combination of two words: "deaf" and "Olympics".
"Deaf" refers to individuals who have a significant hearing impairment or are entirely unable to hear. It comes from the Old English word "dēaf", which has Germanic origins.
"Olympics" refers to the international sporting event known as the Olympic Games, which originated from the ancient Greek Olympic Games held in the city of Olympia. The word "Olympics" derives from the Greek word "Olympiakos", meaning "pertaining to Olympus", as the games were dedicated to the Greek gods on Mount Olympus.
When combined, "Deaflympics" represents a specific sporting event designed for athletes who are deaf or hard of hearing. The term was coined to highlight the unique athletic competition for individuals in the deaf community, similar to the inclusive spirit of the Olympic Games.