WFD Statement on the Cancellation of the 17th Winter Deaflympics

With deep regret WFD has learnt that the 17th Winter Deaflympics scheduled to begin 17th February 2011 has been officially declared cancelled on Friday 11 February 2011. The 43rd International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) Congress has also been postponed until a suitable venue has been found at a later date this year.

The WFD President Mr. Markku Jokinen expressed his sorrow about these recent events but calls on for patience and advises all concerned with Deaflympic issues to refer to ICSD homepage for more accurate information on the circumstances.

WFD is very sympathetic towards all those athletes and coaches who have put a great deal of work, effort and time in preparing for the Winter Deaflympics. WFD fully acknowledges all the inconvenience it may have caused by the cancellation of the Winter Deaflympics in Slovakia to many of those actively involved in deaf sports.

Although the WFD has not been involved in the preparations of this event, WFD does understand the confusion and upheaval this has caused to so many people. However, at the same time it is also time for all of us to show our solidarity and support from one international organisation (WFD) to another (ICSD) as this has been a serious shock to the whole international Deaf community in many ways. Further, we should also bear in mind what a terrible experience this has been also for the Slovak Deaf community.

WFD would like to take this opportunity to remind all its members that these recent unfortunate events with the Winter Deaflympics are not linked with the WFD or the forthcoming XVI World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf. The WFD World Congress which will take place in Durban, South Africa remains unaffected by these events and will take place as planned in July 2011.

WFD warmly welcomes you all to come and join the XVI World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf now organised for the first time in Africa and titled Global Deaf Renaissance.

You can find more information by accessing the ICSD press releases by clicking and about the 16th WFD World Congress