Clock Ticks, a New Page Unfolds!

Taipei 2009 Summer Deaflympics Organising Committee (TDOC) takes pride to host the 21st Summer Deaflympics in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan (ROC). Commencing with an opening ceremony on the evening of 5 September 2009, 3600 elite deaf and hard of hearing athletes from more than 85 countries are expected to compete in 20 sports disciplines at 26 state of the art venues in Taipei metropolis.  Starting from 1 August 2009, a series of sports, arts, ethnic culture, and deaf culture events will be held throughout the city.  The streets of Taipei will come alive with supporters and friends of Deaflympics from the globe.

Needless to say, venues availability is always the core concern of any games.  The major competition venue Taipei Municipal Stadium, sitting next to Taipei Arena, is located at a vibrant business district in the city.  To provide the best quality venue of athletics (track & field), in November 2007, the old stadium of 51-year history was demolished.  TDOC staff works closely with constructors to make sure every element complies with international standards and fulfills ICSD's highest standards.  We are delighted that the construction progresses as scheduled.  When it is completed in April 2007, the brand new Taipei Municipal Stadium with its adjacent facilities will offer 20,000 seats and provide every necessary infrastructure for spectators, press members, and VIP guests.  The athletic competitions as well as the football final will be held in the new Stadium.  Of course, the opening ceremony of the Games will be staged here too.  TDOC vows to provide athletes state of the art venues and facilities.  We sincerely hope our devotion will bring out every athlete's best performance, breaking their own personal records and even deaf world records.

Volunteers also play a very important role in the success of the Games.  TDOC opens the registration to the public since spring 2007.  2206 volunteers have signed up and 1390 trained so far, including the deaf and hearing and ages of 15 to 70.  It is a diversified team with members such as students, businessmen, and housewives.  Preparing volunteers to provide better communication and services in the Games, classes of Taiwanese and international sign languages have been offered for volunteers (open to staff as well) last year.  Carrying on the goal, Community Liaison Division again arranged four sessions in 2008, including weekday night classes and weekend classes to accommodate volunteers' work schedules.  In this coming April, Susan Laura Emerson, an Australian sign language expert, will visit Taipei to share her expertise.  She will offer international sign language courses on 7-18 April.  In addition to the sign languages, international etiquette courses are also scheduled to be offered in April.

Taipei municipal high school system joins efforts in T2009 Volunteer Team, creating a win-win situation.  TDOC takes advantage of young people's endless energy and lively passion, while they are provided one-of-a-kind chance to take part at a world-class sports event.  Variations of activities have been planned and some have been undertaking.  Sign language and introduction of Deaflympics are incorporated into regular curriculums to raise awareness of deaf culture and Deaflympics, prize games will be held to encourage learning, and Deaflympics webpages will be built on their school websites.

Deaf related associations also approached TDOC to volunteer their enthusiasm.  On 28 February, TDOC invited 36 representatives of 10 associations in Northern Taiwan to gather at the Taipei City Public Library – Songshan Branch (special collection of materials for the deaf), including Chinese Taipei Sports Association of the Deaf, National Association of the Deaf, Chinese Deaf Association, National Women League Foundation for the Hearing Impaired, Alumni of Taipei School for the Hearing Impaired, Taoyuan County Welfare Association for the Deaf and Mute, and Children's Hearing Foundation, Taiwan Photographers Association for the Deaf, Taipei Welfare Association for the Deaf, and Taipei Caring Association for the Physically Challenged.  TDOC briefly introduced Deaflympics history and reported TDOC's missions and operations, the representatives in return gave opinions and advices on how to organize and allocate all forces to provide the best amenity to our guests in 2009.

On 5-10 September of this year, TDOC will host the Invitational Games for the Deaf Taipei 2008, preluding the 21st Summer Deaflympics and commemorating one year to the Games.  Approximately 260 athletes will be competing at five sports events: football, judo, karate, taekwondo, and table tennis.  340 visitors, including athletes, coaches, staff, families, and friends from Argentina, China, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, and Uzbekistan will join the Chinese Taipei Deaflympics team and TDOC to celebrate the one year countdown.

The most exciting of all, we would like to introduce our new Artistic Director, Dr. Stan Lai (For Dr. Lai’s profile, please see www.pwshop.com/eng/stanlai.php). Dr. Lai is an internationally applauded playwright/theatre director.  His influence and achievement have crossed the ocean, reaching corners of the world.  “Performance Workshop,” (www.pwshop.com/eng/index.php) led by Dr. Lai, was recognized as the leading contemporary theatre group in Chinese language world.  Dr. Lai’s vouch unfolds a new page for the Taipei 2009 Summer Deaflympics.  Besides an eye-catching ceremony to look forward to, with Dr. Lai overseeing all artistic aspects, TDOC promises a Deaflympics like no others.  A series of celebrations will be launched a month before the Games at Taipei Arena and its surrounding neighborhood, including performances, exhibitions, concerts, arts, ethnics, and deaf cultural activities.  Moreover, domestic festivals and international events, such as the Taipei Food Festival and the 2010 Taipei International Gardening and Horticultural Exposition, will be ventured together around the Taipei Arena for all participants to enjoy.  The pleasure TDOC endeavors to bring will be an experience you can never forget.

September 2009, come to Taipei, support the Games, and shine with the 21st Summer Deaflympics, the most surprising extravaganza!