University sports facility where the wrestling venue will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria
University sports facility where the wrestling venue will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria
L to R: Nikolay Bozev, Nikolay Nikolov, Grigor Grigoryan, Eli Zaharieva
L to R: Nikolay Bozev, Nikolay Nikolov, Grigor Grigoryan, Eli Zaharieva

After the 21st Summer Deaflympics in Taipei I was chosen to be a ICSD Technical Director for wrestling. I clearly remember my feelings on that moment – the deepest joy mixed with an excitement. It is really very pleasant and honorable, that my colleagues from all over the world have rendered me such trust. But can I really manage this mission? After all, this is my first working experience in the international organization.

However, when the work begun, my excitement disappeared. The first year I studied a situation in wrestling of deaf all over the world, analyzed the documents and statistics, got acquainted with my new colleagues. And in October 2010 I have met the first serious test on my post of ICSD TD – a trip to Bulgaria and Turkey for making the report, on which basis the members of ICSD Executive Board should choose the host for 2012 World Deaf Wrestling Championships.

To tell you the truth, I am very glad that I didn't have to make such choice by myself. And it's not about that all the leaders of the sports organizations of deaf persons in Bulgaria and Turkey are not only my colleagues, but also my very good friends. Simply both countries have shown very high level of preparedness for carrying out the championship and showed the sincere desire to receive this tournament. I was much welcomed both in Bulgaria, and in Turkey, they have perfectly organized the inspection itself, answered all of my questions and quickly offered the ways of elimination of those few shortcomings which I managed to reveal.

As a result I have made the most detailed and objective report as possible, which I have sent to my colleagues from ICSD Executive Board. The corporate ethics doesn't allow me to tell all the details of this document, but I can tell you how I finished it – with the following words: "The most important thing I understood after these two inspection trips is that whatever ICSD Executive Board chooses we’ll have an interesting and well-organized championship in 2012. Nothing matters more than that".

I believe, that also the members of ICSD Executive Board had to think it over a lot, before they made their definitive choice. As a result they have stopped on Bulgaria. The 2012 World Deaf Wrestling Championship will be held in Sofia from the 1st of September till September 11th. As for me, from the bottom of my heart I would like to congratulate the Bulgarian colleagues and I hope that with our joint efforts we will hold tournament at the highest level. At the same time, I would also like to tell from the pages of e-News some supporting words to my friends from Turkey. They also were worthy to accept these competitions. But I am assured that in Turkey, with its wonderful sports infrastructure, its huge attention of the State to sports of deaf persons and the remarkable hospitality of its people, there will be not only one or two World Championships on the most different sports in future. The most important thing is to remain the same optimistic, cheerful and professional.

I would also like to share some other thoughts, which have come to me during this one and a half year of work as an ICSD TD. There's an obvious crisis of generation change in our type of sports – many wrestlers are already finishing their career, and in the majority of the countries the young kids don't usually go into wrestling so gladly. And I am very happy that in a new ICSD Competition Plan which is already started, the youth World Championships are obligatorily provided. That certainly will allow to stimulate the development of wrestling among the deaf in many countries, where almost no one works on the popularization of this remarkable ancient sport.

There is also another problem which also keeps me worried. We have a very poor calendar of the international competitions. For example, the wrestlers from the countries of Asia (where this sport is extremely popular) can take part only in two competitions during four years – the World Championship and Summer Deaflympics. Certainly, it's not enough. It is necessary to stimulate much more international tournaments – for example, in the form of the open championships of the large wrestling states and the unofficial matches between teams. Certainly, also during the forthcoming European Championship this year, and also during the World Championship, and during  the 2013 Summer Deaflympics we will discuss this question with all our wrestling community – and, I hope, we will find the correct decision.

At last I would like to tell a few words about the situation which formed in a Deaflympic Movement now. Certainly, after the cancellation of the 2011 Winter Deaflympics in Slovakia and the transfer of ICSD Congress on uncertain terms, many of us feel quite an explainable shock, nervousness and confusion. But such crises happen in the history of any organization. Everything that each of us can do now – is to do our work as good as possible. Sportsmen should continue training, the coaches – should train and bring up the new generations of athletes, as for the fans – they should come on tribunes and support their favorites, and sports functionaries – to hold the competitions as better, as it’s possible, to think over and move on the strategy of development and to build relations with sponsors, state structures and mass-media. And thus we all should remember that all of us – is a one big family, which no difficulties can destroy.

I wish lots of patience and fortitude to all of you,


ICSD Technical Director - Wrestling

By Grigor Grigoryan