Vysoké Tatry, SVK - Following intensive meetings in the Slovakian town where the 2011 Winter Deaflympics were to have been hosted, the ICSD leadership team has been able to confirm the local organising committee's comprehensive failure to deliver on its promises.
"After arriving here in Vysoké Tatry to begin our monitoring of final preparations for the Winter Deaflympics, we became increasingly concerned about the lack of readiness and the absence of key organisers," commented ICSD Chief Executive Tiffany Granfors. "Repeated assurances had been given regarding the organising committee's financial state and it's overall readiness. But these assurances were simply not matched by the facts on the ground," added Granfors.
On the afternoon of Friday, 11 February, the key venues of Jasná Nízke Tatry ski resort, Park Snow FIS and Interski in Štrbské Pleso announced they had still not been paid by the organising committee. As a direct consequence of this financial failure by the Slovakian organisers, the venues publicly announced the cancelations of their contracts to host Winter Deaflympics events.
"The welfare of Deaf athletes is and always will be the ICSD's top priority," commented Granfors. "As soon as time ran out on the repeated promises to host the Games, we quickly informed our Members of the cancelation."
The 2011 Winter Deaflympics Organising Committee has subsequently accepted full responsibility for the failure, with its Chairman, Jaromir Ruda, citing his failure to secure the necessary and much-promised funding.
"We are heartbroken by the impact of the organisers' broken promises and we are working as hard as we can to mitigate the effect it will have on Deaf athletes and Deaf sport," added Granfors.