Pact brings together two disabled sports organizations
Washington, DC-Officials from the DEAFLYMPICS and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in hopes of creating a collaborative landscape in international competition.
The ceremony, held on the campus of Gallaudet University, marks a landmark agreement between two of the leading organizations in multi-disability athletics.
DEAFLYMPICS oversees of the Deaflympic Summer and Winter Games and the Deaf World Championships, while the IPC governs the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games and the multi-disability World Championships.
Thanks to this pact, deaf athletes with additional disabilities will be able to participate in various IPC events. Conversely, multi-disabled Paralympic athletes with at least 55 dB hearing loss in the better ear will be able to compete in the Deaflympic Games and the Deaf World Championships.
The agreement will provide the National Olympic Committees and the National Paralympic Committees with better awareness and understanding of DEAFLYMPICS and Paralympics as two separate organizations that manage their own quadrennial event - Deaflympic Games and Paralympic Games respectively.
Other stipulations of the MOU include:
- To mutually recognize and respect the autonomy of their organizations
- To cooperate in informing sports authorities of the international structures of both organizations.
- To cooperate in addressing conflicts between the affiliated organizations.
The first Deaflympic Games, known then as the International Silent Games, took place in 1924 in Paris. The first Paralympic Games took place in 1948 as a companion piece to the 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London. Paralympic events were geared toward World War II veterans with spinal cord injuries.
"This agreement illustrates our commitment to working together in sync," Dr. Donalda Ammons, interim president of Deaflympics, said. "It will ensure that these athletes have a global stage to display their sporting spirit and dedication."