President's Message - April 2006

Nearly a month ago, the Executive Committee, Regional Confederation representatives and Technical Directors traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, USA for a press conference and site visit for 2007 Winter Deaflympics. Salt Lake City, one of the world’s greatest winter sports destinations with plenty of dry and powder snow, is indeed a beautiful and friendly city. We had the opportunity to visit and hold a meeting at Robert G. Sanderson Community for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which is believed to be the largest and most modern center for deaf people in the U.S.   

For evaluation of the site visit, with the rating scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest and 10 the highest), the 2007 Winter Deaflympics Organizing Committee received a rating score of 6,5.  Dwight Benedict, Chair, has assured us that his committee is deeply committed to making the 2007 Winter Deaflympics one of the best, if not the best ever. We remain confident in their ability to carry out the tasks. Click here for our evaluation report.

In my President message last January, I discussed Olympism and its meaning.  Soon after that, I was extremely pleased to learn that Annika Granfors, a 10 years old daughter of Tiffany and Roland Granfors, made a generous donation of USD $12.50 to Deaflympics. Annika entered in a contest “Character Count, where she explained the importance of Deaflympics for character building. She was declared one of the winners and selected our organization as one of the four recipients for the monetary award.  Thanks, Annika!   For donations, we welcome them anytime! 

Speaking of finance, the executive committee is deeply committed to making modifications to the membership fee structure, which should ease some members’ continuing challenge in paying annual membership fees.  We will present a simplified and more efficient membership fee structure at the 2007 Congress in SLC.

The Executive Committee accepted the Legal Commission’s recommendations to admit Federazione Sport Sordi Italia (FSSI) and UK Deaf Sports (UKDS) as provisional members, replacing Federazione Italiana Sport Silenziosi (FISS) and British Deaf Sports Council (BDSC). Welcome aboard!

Now about trademark application of DEAFLYMPICS, to safeguard both integrity and image of Deaflympics, ICSD filed an application for the use and registration of the mark DEAFLYMPICS with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (USPTO). However, the application was rejected based on prior trademark registrations owned by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). Ultimately, ICSD and USOC signed a license agreement in February 2006, which allows us to continue using the mark- DEAFLYMPICS in the U.S. with certain restrictions. 

We are also pleased with the IOC’s continued and firm support of our organization. It renewed our membership with a Certificate of Membership, signed by President Jacques Rogge.  IOC granted us with USD$110.000 for our activities during the year of 2006.

Next month, I will travel to Japan to be part of the workshop titled “Participating in Change”. I will discuss the progression of Deaf Women in Sport at the 2006 World Conference on Women and Sport in Kumamoto, Japan.  While in Japan, I will get together with Deaf athletes and leaders from Japan Deaf Sports Federation (JDSF) to discuss with them the feasibility of hosting Winter Deaflympics in Japan.

In the next issue of E-News, I will have plenty to share!

Donalda K. Ammons

By Donalda Ammons