Here are some interestsing facts for you:
Handball became a Deaflympic sport for the first time in 1969 in Belgrade in former Yugoslavia.
Since 1969 Handball has continued to be part of Deaflympics program for the past 10 Summer Deaflympics.
The teams that have the gold medal are:
5 times - Yugoslavia
2 times - Croatia
1 time - Germany, Italy, Sweden
The teams that have participated 10 times out of 10, I can assure that the strongest team is Yugoslavia.
After 1985 a lot of teams have retired from the Deaflympics such as Yugoslavia, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Italy. Unfortunately the younger generation tend to chose other sports over Handball or the Federations experience financial difficulties and cannot bring a Handball team.
In the last few Summer Deaflympics, there were only 6 teams. I as the TD Handball, am worried for the future if the number of teams keeps on decreasing.
For the 2009 Summer Deaflympics, we must make sure the Federations will have developed Handball programs in preparation for Taipei and then with everything in my heart I am sure there will be more teams.
I have lived with Handball for 40 years with the passion and first as player, then as a technical commissioner for Italian Deaf Handball and finally Technical Director of Handball for Deaflympics. At the 2009 Taipei it will be my 11th Deaflympics.
ICSD Technical Director - Handball