Report from Sports Director

By Josef Willmerdinger

Dear athletes and sports – fans from all over the world, I wish you all a happy and successful year of 2009.

2009 is and will be a special year for every sport – fan, because this year the Summer Deaflympics will take place in Taipei / Chinese Taipei from 5th to 15th of September, 2009. This is the highlight for every athlete and for everyone who is keen on sports.

Before this will be ready and before the Deaflympics can begin, there is a great Wintersport – highlight which brings along anticipation: The World Deaf Championships in Curling and Ice hockey. This event will be held in Winnipeg / Canada from 10th to 18th April 2009.

Our ICSD Technical Directors are looking forward to great challenges at the 2009 Summer Deaflympics. Of course, we have to cooperate perfectly with the Organising Committee (OC) from Taipei 2009 to have a successful Summer Deaflympics in Taipei.

Working with the 2009 Taipei Organizing COmmittee has been a challenge due to different languages and because the majority of the OC's employees work voluntarily as well as our ICSD Technical Directors. However, we have two full-time employees Tiffany Granfors and Wayne Langbein, who do their very best to make the Games a huge success. Normally they work for Deaflympics but since the preparations' begin in October last year 2008 they have to support the OC with all their power not to extend the schedule. We are waiting for some new employees to begin working full time for the OC in the near future.

There is a positive surprise in reference to the athletes' participation at the 2009 Taipei Summer Deaflympics. We received a large number of preliminary responses:

  • 81 Countries
  • 3946 Athletes (2606 men and 1340 women)
  • 1542 Officials (490 Leaders, 708 Coaches, 145 Interpreters, 199 Medical)

These numbers above are preliminary. Final official numbers will be gathered on 1 August 2009. You see, the rate has increased enormously. Certainly there are some who are sceptical about this rates and think that some athletes have been included twice.

One example:
One athlete (Sports: Athletics) participates in four events (100m, 200m, 4x100m and long jump). We don't count 4 athletes in 4 events; but we count 1 athlete who participates in 4 events.

Compared to final numbers of 2005 Melbourne Summer Deaflympics:

  • 63 Countries
  • 2045 Athletes (1410 men and 635 women)
  • 1058 Officials
  • 51 Media Personnels
  • 64 Interpreters

On 17th and 18th January 2009, Siv Fosshaug, Tiffany Granfors and I - as well as Dr. Lars Meiworm, Dr. Staffan Bark and Dr. Christian Haefele, had ICSD Anti-Doping Commission meeting in Zürich / Switzerland. We want to improve the standards of our Anti-Doping Regulation. The subjects have been:

  1. Presentation of different information about the effective ways we could process the TUE-applications for the Summer Deaflympics in Taipei, Taiwan, in September 2009
  2. Review the Anti-Doping Regulations
  3. Survey about Anti-Doping work among the National Deaf Sport Federation
  4. Implementation of a good Anti-Doping Administration in the future for ICSD?

After the seminar we recognized that we need a big team to be able to hold ICSD Anti-Doping program successfully. We will have to work very hard.

Last week I sent a Memorandum to all Team Sport Technical Directors. With this Memorandum I asked the TDs to inquire all countries, that already signed up for the participation for the Summer Deaflympics 2009, to re-confirm their participation at 2009 Summer Deaflympics-Taipei officially.

This Memorandum serves the schedule’s protection of Summer Deaflympics 2009 due to the actual financial and economic crisis. Some information for the participants who already signed up for participation: It is thoroughly possible to withdraw the participation for Summer Deaflympics in Taipei 2009. However, the country which wants to withdraw team sport will have to pay a penalty fee at $2500 USD. If there won't be present any acknowledgements in the ICSD office, then penalty fee has to be paid.

I want to wish you good luck and great success. In addition, I hope to see many of you in Taipei again and to get to know many others!

Warm regards,

Josef WILLMERDINGER
ICSD Sports Director