Interim President Message

By Donalda Ammons

Pushing different buttons or switching channels on a remote for TV coverage of the Olympic Games can be annoying to some but for me it is delightful. NBC offers 1,210 hours of coverage through its universal network (NBC, CNBC, USA, Bravo, Telemundo, NBC HDTV).

It is nearly three-times the 441.5 hours from Sydney in 2000 and more than seven-times the 171.5 hours from Atlanta in 1996!  Over the 17 days of the Games (Aug. 13-29), NBC's coverage averages more than 70 hours per day --

Additionally, Telemundo's Spanish-language broadcast is providing the first exclusively non-English language Olympic broadcast in U.S.television history. It is also close-captioned in Spanish.  As a professor of Spanish, it is a double delight for me!

Keeping up to date with performances of about six (6) athletes (with some degree of hearing loss) who compete now in the 2004 Games brings much excitement.  Each one of them has fulfilled their dream of being an Olympian. Congratulations! I look forward to seeing some of them compete 5 months later in our own Deaflympic Games in Melbourne.

On another subject of great importance, we have unfortunately been reading negative stories about widespread use of illegal drug substances by elite athletes.  This is rather discouraging but WADA under the leadership of Richard W. Pound is very committed to reclaiming the athletic integrity and values that were at the heart of the original Olympic Movement.

We are also committed!  A few weeks ago, a printed copy of the newly adopted DEAFLYMPICS Anti-Doping policy and guidelines was mailed to all member nations.  At the 2005 Deaflympic Games, there will be random testing performed by the Australian Sports Drug Agency. I expect our athletes to be clean!

The Melbourne Organizing Committee has expressed concerns about some countries that have not made any hotel bookings. It has become necessary to set up a deadline of 31 August 2004 for those nation members with no reservations to show evidence of hotel reservations.  Without evidence, athletes may not compete.  The Australian government has a very strict policy about how visas are processed.  Evidence of hotel reservations and return tickets are very important!  I ask for your urgent attention to this matter.

Go back to your TV and enjoy the Games!

Donalda K. Ammons